ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Party-building events and receptions tied to specific issues were among the venues that NAFCU used during the Republican National Convention to meet with lawmakers on regulatory relief and other issues.
"There's a lot of support there for our cause, but there are other issues that may get in the way," NAFCU Board Member Charlie Thomas told Credit Union Times during a reception for lawmakers interested in higher education matters.Thomas had just spoken to Congressman Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.), a credit union backer.
NAFCU had a presence at the event--sponsored by the Career College Association, which represents for-profit institutions of higher education--because it is working on developing a program with the group to make it easier for veterans to attend such schools.
Earlier that day, Thomas spoke to Republican Sens. Christopher Bond, John Ensign and Charles Grassley, of Missouri, Nevada and Iowa, respectively. Grassley is the top Republican on the Finance Committee, which has jurisdiction over whether credit unions can keep their tax-exempt status.
He also met with Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), the senior Republican on the House Financial Services Committee and Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), a member of the panel.
Thomas, a board member and former president/CEO of Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union in Germantown, Md., said he kept his message simple.
"I told them that there is a lot more we could do for our members if we had regulatory relief," he said. Thomas said he is enthusiastic about the subject because "credit unions are in my DNA."
Earlier in the week, NAFCU Board Member Bob Marquette, president/CEO of Members 1st FCU in Mechanicsburg, Pa., attended some events as well. Four NAFCU staff members, led by Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Dan Berger. attended the convention.