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WASHINGTON-Though President George W. Bush did not specifically mention credit unions in his State of the Union speech Jan. 20, NCUA Vice Chair JoAnn Johnson felt that his discussion of the economy and job growth could be applied to credit unions. She stated that the president gave a “forward-looking message” regarding defending the nation’s freedom and growing the economy. “President Bush’s sound policies demonstrate that the economic recovery is positioned to provide lasting economic security in our nation, which is facilitating job creation and bolstering economic growth in this country,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s helping a credit union member entrepreneur with start-up capital for their small business or expanding a member’s business and creating jobs, credit unions can play an important role in helping sustain the economy recovery.” Johnson added that the administration’s focus on opportunities for faith-based organizations to address issues like affordable financial services is very much in line with credit union efforts. “America’s faith-based credit unions are answering the call to serve with real compassion and are reaching out in unprecedented numbers to serve folks who are often left behind,” she said. “I share the President’s optimism on our economy and recognize the expansive role of America’s credit unions in helping folks from all walks of life achieve the American Dream of financial self-sufficiency through economic empowerment,” the vice chair concluded. Other issues of interest to credit unions that arose during the president’s speech include savings, taxes, and the USA PATRIOT Act, among others.

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