WASHINGTON (2/26/10)—The Credit Union National Association’s final day of its 2010 Governmental Affairs Conference featured two congressmen who noted credit unions' work to keep the economy moving forward, House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). Cantor briefly touched on pending financial regulatory reform legislation and the importance of expanding credit unions’ roles in helping their communities. “More than 600,000 businesses are started each year—about one per minute,” Cantor said. “Those individuals need you [credit unions].” McCotter provided similar thoughts. He thanked credit unions for the work they do—especially in his home state. Michigan has the nation’s highest unemployment rate and a struggling auto industry, McCotter said. Despite the state’s problems, “we knew we could rely on credit unions,” he said. “They were there to try and help the industry sell cars.” Many Michigan credit unions participated in Invest in America, which provided discounts to buyers who received financing through credit unions for select Chrysler and GM vehicles. The answer to America’s economic problems will be family and community-oriented financial institutions—like credit unions, he said. He also noted the human-to-human relationships that credit unions maintain—and that those relationships will help America overcome its challenges. Wrapping up this year’s GAC, Captain Richard Phillips of the Maersk Alabama, who was at the center of an international drama last April when his ship was hijacked by Somali pirates, told conference attendees that true leaders must hope for the best and plan for the worst. Part of those plans should include reviewing routines, he added. “Don’t just do something” because that’s the way you’ve always done it, Phillips recommended. The GAC featured speakers from across the political spectrum, including Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.)and Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.), and outgoing Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.). Current regulators, such as Small Business Administrator Karen Mills and National Credit Union Administration Chairman Debbie Matz also addressed the GAC, as did former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan.