SALT LAKE CITY – With a Presidential election year and a full legislative plate in 2004, the U.S. Senate does not appear ready to take up credit union issues, according to Utah Sen. Bob Bennett (R. Utah). In a press release issued by the Utah League of Credit Unions, the Republican Senator, who is chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions Subcommittee, was quoted on the topic during a League-sponsored reception for the state’s Congressional delegation held Jan. 9. Bennett told the League gathering the election year and more pressing matters “shortened” the time span for full debate on CU topics, said a spokesman. The League statement also quoted Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah), a member of the House Financial Institutions Subcommittee, who also indicated “he did not foresee any credit union related bills being considered by the committee.” The League statement noted the harmony that exists in the state’s Congressional delegation and how the trade group was honored “to have all five members of our delegation together in one place” to be hosted by the state’s CU leadership. Beside Bennett and Matheson, other Utah congressmen and senators attending the reception were: Sen. Orrin Hatch, Rep. Rob Bishop and Rep. Chris Cannon, all Republicans. Scott Simpson, the new president of the Utah League and a former GOP staffer himself, called the Utah delegation “great” and one that has “supported credit unions.” He said the League is thankful “they are willing to spend some time with us. It’s not very often you get all five of them together like this.” The reception came 10 days before the start of the Utah legislative session which could see banker-backed bills to re-introduce the tax issue. On that note, the League statement recounted the 2003 history by noting that Utah CUs “fought an anti credit union bill that would have imposed a 35% tax on certain credit unions, all of which have switched to a federal charter.” -

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