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WASHINGTON-CUNA is taking full advantage of technology and the August recess by bringing key lawmakers in the battle for regulatory relief to the computer monitors of credit union officials nationwide. CUNA is distributing links to a video presentation via e-mail to the state leagues, which in turn will send them to member credit unions. The video includes the three approximately 90-second clips from House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio) and bill sponsors Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.) and Mike Ross (D-Ark.) explaining the provisions of the bill and the action needed. “We are taking advantage of the August recess to call folks to meet with their legislators, talk about the importance of regulatory relief to credit unions and try to move the ball forward,” CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose explained. He added that H.R. 1375, the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act, is expected to be one of the items to come up in September after Congress returns from the August recess. “Credit unions spend a great deal of money every year complying with outdated and ineffective regulations,” Oxley states in his clip. “That’s money that could instead be lent to consumers and industry for new homes, new cars, and new projects that fuel job growth in local communities. The sooner we enact this legislation the sooner we provide needed relief to financial institutions and increased borrowing opportunities for both consumers and businesses.” Oxley also explains that the interactive product allows credit unions to e-mail their member of Congress directly and provides talking points for credit unions to use when meeting with their lawmakers on regulatory relief. “For these members of Congress, it gives them an opportunity to first-hand explain the bill, which is something they rarely get to do, especially to an audience of folks who are going to be active on behalf of trying to pass the legislation,” Gose said. Representative Capito told viewers in her clip of her efforts to move the bill forward. “I have also been working with CUNA and credit unions in my home state of West Virginia to get this important legislation passed during the 108th Congress.” She highlighted a few of the provisions that will benefit credit unions, including exempting business loans to non-profit, religious organizations from the member business lending cap; permitting credit unions to provide wire services to anyone in its field of membership; and providing credit union boards more flexibility in governance. Ross goes on to explain some of the other credit union provisions. “Working with CUNA, Congress has an opportunity to reduce regulatory burden on credit unions by passing this legislation. I too encourage all of you to contact your Representative.” he said. CUNA’s Gose pointed out, “To our knowledge, this is the first time this type of alert’s ever been sent out.” Jointly created by CUNA and Bookstream.com, called Legislative Wrap by Bookstream.com, the video alert will reach more than 9,000 credit unions across the country. To view the video alert, go to: http://www.videowraps.com/vw.asp?code=CUNA200302. Gose added, “I know that they always enter into.something like this with a little skepticism, but I think, once they saw the product and what it was going to do, they all felt that this was a worthwhile endeavor and really felt good about being able to talk directly to the members.” CUNA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs John McKechnie explained how the three lawmakers have encourage credit unions to be highly involved in the legislation from its inception. “Also, I think they politically recognize that we have unique abilities to motivate grass roots. I think their willingness to help us on this Leg Wrap is, in effect, they’re helping us help them,” he commented. “At CUNA, we have made a commitment to credit unions to be without equal in generating grassroots support for issues of value to credit unions,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica said. “We are equally committed to working with legislators in helping them achieve their goals, particularly when those goals include the interests of credit unions.” “(H.R. 2622) needs a strong showing in the House to motivate the Senate. Sometimes you need a big win to get the attention of the other body and I think that’s really what we’re going for here,” Gose said. CUNA Legislative Affairs Manager Linda Gualtieri said that the committee is still trying to work out the industrial loan company controversy, which credit unions have not been involved in. She also explained that from the point of view of a former congressional staffer, e-mail responses from the Legislative Wrap are much easier to deal with than the postal service after the anthrax attacks. [email protected]

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