DES MOINES, Iowa (2/17/12)--Speakers urged Iowa credit unions to stay involved in the political process during the Iowa Credit Union League's annual Legislative Conference Tuesday in Des Moines.
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad addresses attendees at the Iowa Credit Union Legislative Conference Tuesday in Des Moines.
More than 100 Iowa credit union representatives convened to learn more about the legislative issues affecting the credit union industry and interact with lawmakers.
"You are the people who will make a difference," U.S. Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa) told attendees. "If you don't speak on behalf of your issues, no one else will."
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney discussed the member business lending (MBL) cap credit unions face. At a time when banks are withdrawing credit from America's small businesses, credit unions have been expanding credit to small businesses, but with more credit unions approaching the cap, this growth is threatened.
Cheney stressed that Congress should enact legislation that increases the credit union MBL cap to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% for well-capitalized credit unions. Doing so would provide $13 billion to lend to small business owners. Injecting that amount into the economy would create roughly 140,000 new jobs at no cost to the taxpayer, according to CUNA research.
From left, U.S. Rep. Bob Kressig (D-Iowa); Bob Hoefer, Dupaco Community CU, Dubuque; U.S. Sen. Jeff Danielson (D-Iowa); U.S. Rep. Chuck Isenhart (D); and Dave Klavitter, Dupaco Community CU, at the Iowa Credit Union Legislative reception. (Photos provided by Iowa Credit Union League)
Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad discussed the value credit unions provide for small businesses. Last week, during a visit to Unified Therapy Services, an award-winning small business in Dubuque, Branstad praised Dupaco Community CU's role in helping small businesses grow and create jobs.
Iowa credit unions heard from CNN
Political Analyst Paul Begala. When asked if the Iowa caucuses would continue, Begala said, "Caucuses in general are getting a black eye, but Iowa is not."
Begala encouraged credit unions to continue to be engaged and involved with the legislative process.
Attendees also had the opportunity to hear from Iowa journalists Dave Price WHO-TV 13
Emily Price of KCCI-TV 8
, Kay Henderson of Radio Iowa
and Jennifer Jacobs of the Des Moines Register