WASHINGTON (8/28/13)--There are 13 days left for credit union advocates to reach out to federal lawmakers while in their home offices and garner support for the Don't Tax My Credit Union message, Credit Union National Association Senior Vice President of Political Affairs Richard Gose emphasized this week.
The current congressional District Work Break ends Sept. 9 and when Congress returns to session then, tax code reform will be one of the hot topics of discussion.
"We need to make sure the importance of maintaining the credit union tax status is at the forefront of legislators' minds as they return to Washington early next month. Any face time spent with legislators in the coming days is time well spent," Gose added.
CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said it is easy to question whether or not tax reform will ultimately get done in this Congress, but stressed that drafts of tax reform legislation that are being written right now could frame the debate on tax reform for the foreseeable future. "We want credit union interests to be protected no matter what," Cheney said.
Recent credit union contacts have reaped results, with Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) this week becoming the latest legislator to publicly back the credit union tax status. (See News Now item: Rep. Conyers Joins The Growing Ranks On CUs' Tax Status.)
Credit union advocacy efforts through the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign have remained strong, with more than 730,000 contacts coming through CUNA's donttaxmycreditunion.org website.
"We've been very pleased at the passion with which folks have engaged through social media and other means," Gose added.
Overall, the Don't Tax campaign is solidifying support for credit unions and increasing grassroots activity as people are looking for other ways to help the credit union cause. CULAC had its most successful January-to-June fundraising period ever, tallying $1.06 million in donations during that time. That is 18% more raised to support credit union candidates than was raised in the same period of the last cycle, CUNA Vice President of Political Affairs Trey Hawkins noted.
And, while banks are trying to reverse this momentum with social media attacks of their own, credit union supporters have responded in kind. Many have used the bank social media accounts and hashtag to point out the $200 billion in bailout funds that banks were given by the government, or to remind them of the value that credit unions provide to their members each day.
"Walking the halls of Congress in the last couple of weeks, we have found the bank attacks have not had a lot of legs. But they have energized credit unions. There's nothing like an erroneous bank attack to get credit unions fired up," CUNA Executive Vice President of Government Affairs John Magill said.