WASHINGTON (12/3010)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continued to bring credit union issues before key administration officials this month, making important points during a recent follow-up meeting with the White House National Economic Council (NEC). CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney met with key NEC staff members to detail a range of significant credit union issues and concerns, including:
* The credit union tax status and its importance to consumers and the economy; * The need for increased member business lending (MBL) authority, a legislative initiative already supported by the Obama administration; * The need for supplemental sources of capital for credit unions, which are currently restricted to retained earnings for to build capital resources; * Credit union concerns regarding the Federal Reserve Board’s proposal to set government pricing on interchange fees; and * The impact on credit unions of the National Credit Union Administration’s budget increases for 2011, and CUNA’s request that the agency follow the administration’s proposed pay freeze for federal workers.
The meeting with NEC staffers was a follow-up to a session earlier this month between Cheney and NEC Director Lawrence Summers, who will turn over the reins of that position at the beginning of the new year. During the meeting, Cheney acknowledged the substantial support that the U.S. Treasury Department has thrown behind legislation to raise the statutory limit on member business lending to 27.5%--up from the current 12.25% limit. However, he urged the administration to be more active in its support of credit union priorities, particularly as proposals to reduce the deficit are considered in the U.S. Congress, and as CUNA continues to pursue MBL statutory improvements and supplemental capital in the new Congress.