LAS VEGAS — In a Tuesday talk at the California/Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ annual confab, CEO Bill Cheney came to shine a light on CUNA’s successes but also to challenge credit unions to take concrete action to push through lifting the member business lending cap.
Cheney started with a recap of CUNA’s 2012 election role and, he said, no trade association had a better record.
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On the Senate side, CUNA took a stand in 27 races “and we were successful in 26,” said Cheney. “Our success will serve us well,” he added, predicting that CUNA and its credit unions would find many friends both in the lame duck session Congress is entering and in the 113rd Congress that starts in January.
“CUNA,” he added “is the most bipartisan PAC” – and the proof is that its support very nearly was equally split between GOP and Democratic candidates.
As for member business lending, “the time to lift the cap is now,” said Cheney, who indicated he had personally been working on this going back 10 years, to long before he joined CUNA’s executive team.
“Let’s get it done. We have won the policy argument.”
Cheney indicated that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had promised a vote on member business lending and CUNA’s read is that the sentiment is to hold the vote in the lame duck session. “I believe we have the votes.”
Toward that end, Cheney exhorted credit unions and their business members to come to Washington, D.C., on Nov. 27-28 to “hike the Hill. We want 1,000 credit unions and small business owners to talk about why member business lending matters.”
“If we quit on this, we lose,” said Cheney. But he added: “I believe we can get it done.”