In the midst of the destructive hurricane this week, 24 credit union advocates traveled to Washington, D.C., to sit down with Georgia’s members of Congress at Hike the Hill. This Hike provided a well-timed opportunity to discuss the issues presently in play with federal legislators and key staff, and meet with NCUA to promote the need for common-sense regulation. In addition, this year’s hikers were treated to a group breakfast with Congressman Rob Woodall (R-7), and combined forces with Florida and Alabama credit union advocates at the meeting with NCUA to reinforce what is needed from the federal regulators so that they can better serve their members.
While each Hike is different, for those who have never attended a Hike the Hill, these meetings (in addition to meetings with regulators) are instrumental in educating federal legislators on how credit unions benefit all consumers and what credit unions do for their members, and reiterating the core beliefs of credit unions and what makes credit unions unique. These meetings also provided a window to engage and educate Congress on the credit union income tax exemption, and how it is critical for enabling credit unions to put members first, as the tax benefit goes back to the member. This was an ideal window of time for credit unions to be in front of federal legislators, as the House Ways and Means Committee released its “Tax Reform 2.0” package this week and began debate on any changes.
These visits are key to the future success of all credit unions; it is imperative that the industry advocates for the issues that impact the ability of credit unions to operate and help people afford life. And as credit unions are unique, their legislative needs are different to be able to serve consumers (and keep up with consumer demand for new technologies, products and quality service). Issues discussed with legislators included:
- the impact of data breaches and the importance of protecting member data,
- achieving effective regulatory relief,
- seeking the opportunity to provide additional credit to members, and
- finding legislative avenues to maintain the financial strength of credit unions both now and in the future.
To see the messaging shared with Congressional offices, access the legislative app which is utilized to provide staffers key information in a quick and easy manner.
Georgia credit unions have consistently met with their members of Congress each fall at these Hikes, and their efforts are vital in pursuing issues for the industry and pursuing clear passage for the legislative and regulatory issues of importance. Our thanks to this year’s Hike team from Associated CU, Delta Community CU, DOCO CU, Family Savings CU, GEMC FCU, Georgia United CU, Georgia’s Own CU, North Georgia CU, Peach State FCU, Robins Financial CU, Rome Kraft Employees CU, United 1st FCU and United Methodist Connectional FCU for taking the time to travel to D.C. to educate Congress on credit unions and lay the groundwork for advocacy success.