WASHINGTON-Credit unions were well represented and well connected at a recent National Republican Congressional Committee event. The credit union-friendly Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), though he was one of just a handful to vote against the Credit Union Membership Access Act, chaired the dinner March 15, where he invited representatives from CUNA and NAFCU to attend, along with about 3,000 others. The president and first lady attended the event. CUNA and NAFCU representatives were able to spend quality time with House Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) on the eve of the committee’s markup of the bill. Both groups also spent time with Bachus, who has introduced legislation to change the definition of a credit union’s net worth in order to help them avoid Prompt Corrective Action problems with coming Financial Accounting Standards Board changes. Congressman Peter King (R-N.Y.) had dinner with NAFCU representatives, according to the association’s General Counsel Bill Donovan. King has “a special relationship with the credit unions on Long Island,” he added. They also spoke in more of a social manner with House Financial Services Committee Chairman Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), Committee Member Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas)-who is expected to take the lead on regulatory relief in the House, Committee Member Walter Jones (R-N.C.), Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.), and Ways and Means Committee Member Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.). CUNA folks hobnobbed with Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), Rules Committee Member Shelly Moore Capito (R-W.V.), Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) deputy chief of staff, and numerous others. Attending the event from CUNA were Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs John McKechnie, Vice President of Legislative Affairs and Senior Legislative Counsel Gary Kohn, Legislative Affairs Manager Linda Gualtieri, and guests from U.S. Central, the DC Credit Union League, and others. In addition to Donovan, NAFCU Director of Legislative and Political Affairs Brad Thaler, Senior Legislative Representative Murray Chanow, Associate Director of Political Affairs Erica Anderson, along with guests from Affinity Federal Credit Union and U.S. Central attended the event. NAFCU Chair Diane Furnas, CEO of Southwest Airlines Federal Credit Union, and Vice Chair Mike Vadala, CEO of The Summit Federal Credit Union, shook hands with President George W. Bush and Laura Bush. -firstname.lastname@example.org
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