In Congress it’s easy to focus on all the noise regardless of political preferences; however, 2019 was a significant year for credit unions with the issues addressed to protect and advance the industry. This did not happen by accident, but by design … credit unions, Leagues and CUNA work together to bring attention to the key issues in Washington, D.C., and help shape thinking through the Hike the Hill visits and in-district meetings. It is through working together that real change can be achieved! Legislative victories included:
- The historic, bipartisan passage of the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act by the House, which followed CUNA’s testimony in support of the bill. CUNA also testified before the Senate Banking Committee on behalf of the bill, becoming the first financial services trade association to testify in support of the bill before both chambers of Congress;
- Securing several positive changes for credit unions regarding lending, flood insurance, tax issues, and CECL in the Appropriations Act for 2020;
- Successfully defending credit unions’ presence on military installations by fighting for removal of a provision that would have expanded an exemption to banks in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA);
- House passage of a bill that would take the first meaningful steps to update the Bank Secrecy Act statutory framework in decades; and
- Working with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on a revised Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) reform bill that does not place credit unionsunder the authority of the CRA.
Georgia was instrumental in several of these efforts, particularly on updating BSA/CTR thresholds and removing the regulatory hurdles in place to serve people in or around the legal cannabis-based businesses. Our thanks to all the Georgia credit unions who engaged on these issues, as well as connecting with U.S. Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-11) multiple times on the BSA/CTR issue, which he introduced at the start of this year. By continuing to work together at the federal level, between credit unions, Leagues and CUNA, there is no limit to the success credit unions can achieve!