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<p>WASHINGTON-Several CUNA and WOCCU officials met with Special Assistant to the President on Economic Policy Pippa Malmgren to discuss credit union issues domestic and abroad. Congress recently appropriated up to $2 million to WOCCU through the U.S. Agency for International Development (US AID) for economic development projects in South Africa and Mexico. “We would love to have more, but we appreciate what we got,” WOCCU People-to-People Coordinator Michael Beall commented. The group originally asked for $20 million over four years, he commented. The credit union representatives explained the projects, including the International Remittance Network (IRNet) with Mexico and its partnership with the Texas and California Credit Union Leagues and the work the Louisiana Credit Union League has been doing in South Africa. Specifically relating to the IRNet, the group raised the issue of the `matricula’ form of identification-obtained through the presentation of a birth certificate, military identification, or other legitimate identification documents for Mexican nationals living in the U.S.-under the new congressional directive for Treasury to implement `know your customer’ requirements. CUNA Vice President and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn emphasized the importance of constant funding for the projects. Beall noted that it is key that WOCCU does not just provide seed money for projects, but technical assistance and other aids that allow for the creation of sustainable credit unions internationally. Domestic issues discussed during the meeting included the repeal of the Community Action Plan, regulatory relief, Prompt Corrective Action, appreciation for NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar’s flexible regulatory style, and the empty seats on the NCUA board. CUNA Associate General Counsel Mary Dunn remarked that Malmgren seemed well versed on the credit unions issues and that the groups’ plan to maintain a high level rapport with the White House staff.</p>

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