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ARLINGTON, Va. — CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said the economic crisis, coupled with the large number of vacancies in the Treasury Department are combining to create many unknowns about federal policies affecting credit unions.“Credit unions have a hard time getting attention during normal times,” he said during a speech to the Metropolitan Area Credit Union Management Association. “These days when you try to get to see the people below the Treasury secretary, you find that the positions haven’t been filled and that makes it harder to make our case.”Mica said they have worked to make the case for giving credit unions access to money from the Troubled Asset Relief Program even though there is no “groundswell” among CUNA’s members and the “credit union system is all over the board” on it.He reiterated his stance that it should be a fallback position.Mica also said that CUNA is still trying to come up with a series of alternatives forrescuing the corporate credit unions. He said if the NCUA had not stepped in to inject capital into U.S. Central, the whole system couldhave collapsed, but he added that levying a premium on credit unions to help theNCUSIF was unnecessary.“If corporates were allowed to collapse, it would bring most of the system down,” he noted. “There is a time for substantive debate on the future of the corporates, but this is not it.”Mica also said he expects that during the next two years Congress will attempt to pass legislation applying the Community Reinvestment Act to credit unions. CUNA is strongly opposed to that, and he told House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that he “won’t trade something else for CRA.”He reiterated his support for having one trade association for the credit union movement and said the existence of CUNA and NAFCU makes it easy for Congress to play the two against each other. “You can’t have a house divided when you only have 7% of the market,” he said.Mica urged people to think of themselves not as CUNA supporters or NAFCU supporters but as supporters of the credit union system.He spoke last week at MACUMA’s monthly meeting and answered questions from Credit Union Times Editor-in-Chief Sarah Snell Cooke.–[email protected]

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