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WASHINGTON-The California Credit Union League has said that three of its congressional representatives have committed to signing their names to the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (H.R. 2317) once Congress returns from recess, while NAFCU confirmed those and four others. California Credit Union League Director of Federal Governmental Affairs Kelly Purcell said that she has received confirmation from Congressman Ed Royce’s (R) office that Grace Napolitano (D), Sam Farr (D), and Mary Bono (R) will sign on as co-sponsors to CURIA once the lawmakers return to Washington, D.C. after Labor Day. NAFCU then reported that Representatives Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Don Young (R-Alaska), Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), and Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.) will be signing on as well. Napolitano and Young had also co-sponsored the legislation in the 108th Congress when there were 69 supporters. This Congress, with 78 officially signed as of press time-not including those expected to sign mentioned in this story-credit unions are looking to far surpass that. Co-sponsors in the 109th Congress also represent a better balance between Republicans and Democrats. The mayor of Point Arena, Calif., as well as the City Council, is also urging Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) to co-sponsor CURIA, according to the California Credit Union League. Though Point Arena Mayor Leslie Dahlhoff was unable to personally make a meeting with Thompson, she and the rest of the City Council lent their support in writing. Their letter explained to the congressman how Inwood Credit Union positively impacted Point Arena, which is just one reason he should sign his name to the bill. Inwood Credit Union opened a branch in the coastal city to fill the gap when Westamerica Bank closed its local branch in 2003. “As you know, our community was deeply impacted by the departure of our only financial institution a few years ago. Through your help, the persistent assistance of the California Credit Union League, and the true credit union spirit of Inwood Credit Union, Inwood has opened a Point Arena branch bringing essential financial services back to Main Street,” the mayor wrote. “Our credit union is now a vital component of our community infrastructure, in part because we are owner/members and not just account holders. However the current regulatory capital requirements for credit unions are so restrictive that too much capital is sitting unused instead of being put to work in our community.” Credit union officials and employees made CURIA the center of attention at 12 district meetings in California with key members of Congress as part of the California Credit Union League’s Hike the Hill at Home program. According to the league, it coordinated the program throughout Congress’ August recess. The league also met with Democratic Representatives Mike Honda, Dennis Cardoza, Jim Costa, Lois Capps, and Susan Davis; and Republicans Wally Herger, John Doolittle, Dan Lungren, Richard Pombo, and Duncan Hunter during Congress’ August district work period. However, issues surrounding Hurricane Katrina will be taking up much of Congress’ time in the remainder of the session, so despite the success in gaining co-sponsors, not much activity on CURIA is likely to occur. “We’re still hopeful that we might perhaps get a hearing on CURIA this year, but at this point we’re not real hopeful that it’s going to be successfully passed in the House (this year.),” NAFCU Associate Director of Legislative Affairs Dillon Shea commented. [email protected]

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