WASHINGTON-In response to letters Congressman Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.)-a long-time, good credit union friend-has received from people in his district on credit union issues, he has written a letter letting them know what is going on in Congress and his views on the matters. Kanjorski wrote his constituents that he was a main sponsor of H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act of 1998, and was one of the four original sponsors of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 3579) introduced last year. “This comprehensive bill would enhance the power of credit unions and help them to better serve their members,” he wrote. “Among other things, [CURIA] would ease credit union regulatory burdens, promote their efforts to expand economic growth, and modernize capital standards.” Kanjorski explained that the bill is continuing to garner support from members of Congress and a hearing has already been held, which is good progress. On a less positive note, Kanjorski highlighted, “You should also be aware that, some individuals, including a senior official in the Bush Administration and a House Republican leader, have in recent months unfortunately called into question the tax-exempt status of credit unions. These suggestions have caused deep disappointment and considerable concern for many in Washington. “In my view, we should preserve federal and state tax exemptions for credit unions.” His letter explained that credit unions are non-profit cooperatives and should not pay taxes. “Changing the tax status of credit unions would greatly affect their ability to continue to serve their members effectively. We should consequently reject these misguided calls to tax credit unions.” Kanjorski vowed to continue to work to “enhance the ability of credit unions.”

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