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WASHINGTON-Top officials from CUNA, NAFCU, and NASCUS met recently at Credit Union House to discuss strategies for the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579) and the Financial Services Regulatory Relief Act (H.R. 1375). The three major credit union trade associations held the Jan. 30 meeting to work toward presenting a united front on their common issues in the two pieces of legislation. “I believe the three national groups emerged from this meeting with a clear understanding of the strategies needed for advancing legislation at the federal level which will benefit all credit unions,” CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica, who initiated the meeting, said. “Working together, sharing ideas, and making the most of each group’s individual strengths and skills is a key factor for success in the weeks and months to come.” “With the new legislative year beginning on Capitol Hill, we felt it was important to get together and lay the groundwork for cooperation in moving forward much-needed regulatory relief for credit unions,” NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker said. “I think everyone recognizes that this is not an issue that will get done overnight, but rather something that will take hard work from the entire credit union community to bring to fruition.” All three organizations were mum about their strategies going forward on the bills and there are no plans for future meetings between them on these specific topics. “We work independently, but we’re working toward the same goal,” CUNA Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs John McKechnie explained. He added that CUNA typically meets with NAFCU and NASCUS individually during the Governmental Affairs Conference coming up at the end of this month. In related news, CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn said that the organization’s efforts to gain sponsors for CURIA are ongoing and some new ones should be signed on fairly soon. Additionally, “A number of our leagues are gearing up towards GAC where they’ll make their big push for cosponsors at that time.” “Honest dialogue within our own community” McKechnie commented, “that’s the way these things get worked into legislation over time.” That and a little elbow grease, he added. “All three organizations came out of the meeting with the understanding to use the resources they have to educate Congress on some of the reforms in the bill,” he said. “We’d like to continue the dialogue because we all try to work together while remaining responsive to our own constituencies,” NASCUS President and CEO Mary Martha Fortney remarked. She said the tone of the meeting was positive. She added that both bills will be discussed at length during NASCUS’ Board and committee meeting in March. One point that NAFCU restated at the meeting, according to Becker, is that it supports the provision to allow privately insured credit unions to join the Federal Home Loan Bank Board so long as private insurance exists as an option for credit unions. Private insurance has been a sticking point between the trades with NAFCU supporting federal insurance for all and CUNA and NASCUS on the side of allowing the states to decide whether a private insurance option is appropriate. The meeting was also aimed at countering bankers’ attacks on the credit union provision of H.R. 1375 and pushing the legislation past the bankers’ position of not supporting or opposing the bill. In addition to the three trade association CEOs, CUNA Chairman Dick Ensweiler, CUNA Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Juri Valdov, NAFCU Vice Chair Michael Vadala, NAFCU Regulatory Committee Chairman Bradley Beal, NAFCU Board Member Brian McDonnell, and NASCUS Government Relations Committee Chairman George Latham attended the meeting. A few key staffers from the trades were also present. [email protected]

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