Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones Dies
Tubbs Jones, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, was a co-sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 1537) and backed several other measures of importance to credit unions. She had personal experience with the movement as one of the founders of the Bethany Baptist Church Credit Union, at the congregation on Cleveland's East Side where she worshiped her entire life. The credit union has since merged with Antioch Credit Union.
The 58-year-old congresswoman was a staunch credit union advocate. "She'd been a long-time friend of credit unions in Congress, one of our more vocal allies," NAFCU Director of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler stated. He added that she had spoken at NAFCU's annual Congressional Caucus before and was slated to do so this September.
"CUNA and the nation's credit unions are deeply saddened to learn of Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones's untimely death," said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. "We worked most closely with her as a co-sponsor of the Credit Union
Regulatory Improvements Act and during her service on the House Ways and Means Committee, where she always had an open-door policy." Mica added that Tubbs
Jones' constituency was a her motivating force throughout her tenure in Congress. "She was a skilled legislator, a good friend, and we in the credit union community will miss her."
In addition to being an early co-sponsor to CURIA, she was also one of the most active members of Congress in getting the Small Business Administration to open its 7(a) program to all credit unions; it had previously only been open to community charters. She also stood up for credit unions during the now infamous Ways and Means Committee hearing of November 2005, when then-Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) went after nonprofit hospitals' and credit unions' tax-exempt status.
Tubbs Jones, the first African-American female to represent Ohio in Congress, was an advocate of expanding the availability of affordable housing and often lauded credit unions for their work in this area.
She was a former prosecutor and judge and has served in Congress since 1999.