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Pa. CUs discuss key issues with congressmen
HARRISBURG, Pa. (3/19/12)--While many of the nation's credit unions are in Washington, D.C., to meet with their congressional representatives this week, credit unions in Pennsylvania have been busy pressing their key issues with their congressmen on the home front in two recent meetings.

U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), center, poses with Pennsylvania credit union leaders and hosts during a meeting hosted by American Heritage FCU, Philadelphia, Wednesday. (Photo provided by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association)
American Heritage FCU, Philadelphia, hosted a meeting at its headquarters Wednesday for U.S. Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), who represents the 8th District, said the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association (Life is a Highway March 15).  Representatives of six credit unions and several related organizations attended.  Fitzpatrick and the group discussed issues credit unions are facing including:

  • Member business loans;
  • Supplemental capital;
  • Growing regulatory burden; and
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight.
Fitzpatrick also fielded questions from attendees on rising healthcare costs, the presidential election, concerns on the role of the government, and assisting small business growth.

Seven credit unions in Wilke-Barre, Pa., met Thursday with their new congressman, U.S. Rep. Tim Holden (D-Pa.), from the 17th District (Life is a Highway March 16).  The introductory meeting allowed Holden to learn more about credit unions in the region and their legislative and regulatory concerns, said PCUA. He answered questions from 30 people attending.

When asked by PCUA President/CEO Jim McCormack why he liked credit unions, Holden answered, "Credit unions are all I've known as a kid when getting my first auto loan. They have supported people when they couldn't access credit."  Holden added that "credit unions give people a chance when many financial institutions, especially today, have used regulatory excuses not to lend or reach out to better individuals' situations."

McCormack said Holden has supported credit unions since H.R. 1151, the Credit Union Membership Access Act; supports credit unions on interchange concerns; and is a co-sponsor of member business lending legislation.

The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and credit unions are pressing Congress to lift the cap on credit unions' member business loans to 27.5% from 12.25%. Lifting the MBL cap would inject $13 billion into the economy for new small business loans and help create 140,000 new jobs, without cost to the taxpayer, says CUNA.


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