WASHINGTON (7/31/13, UPDATED 4:30 p.m. ET )--The ranking Democrat on the powerful congressional panel in charge of tax policy oversight, the House Ways and Means Committee, issued a public statement saying he is "committed" to a tax code that "ensures important policies, like the credit union tax exemption, continue to serve the best interest of the American taxpayer."
Rep. Sander Levin, from Michigan, said, "I have long supported credit unions and the critical role they play in our communities.
"Throughout the financial crisis, credit unions increased lending because of their cooperative membership structure--providing a needed lifeline to individuals and small businesses that other lenders and financial institutions could not.
"I am committed to a thoughtful reform of our nation's tax code that ensures important policies, like the credit union tax exemption, continue to serve the best interest of the American taxpayer."
Rep. Gary Peters (D), also of Michigan, also weighed in today to support the credit union tax exemption.
"I completely support the tax exempt status of credit unions," said Peters. "Credit unions are member-owned. It's about helping our middle class families who are part of credit unions all across the state. The savings that are realized are passed directly to millions of members in Michigan.
Credit unions help people access financial services in a cost-effective way every day. Because of this, I will continue to support credit unions and their tax status."
Michigan Credit Union League & Affiliates CEO David Adams thanked Levin and Peters for adding their voices to the important public support of the credit union tax status and for their continued support of credit unions and the federal tax exemption.
Regarding Levin, Adams added, "As the immediate past chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and now as ranking Democrat on the committee, Mr. Levin's strong position will carry significant weight with his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans. Rep. Levin knows that credit unions make a difference in the lives of millions of middle-class Americans and small businesses."
"As the immediate past chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee and now as ranking Democrat on the committee, Mr. Levin's strong position will carry significant weight with his colleagues, both Democrats and Republicans."
Levin's and Peters'endorsements of credit unions and their tax status join a growing body of lawmakers' recent public support--four of which come from Adams' state of Michigan.
In addition to Levin and Peters, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), a senior House Republican, today publicly endorsed the continued tax-exempt status of credit unions in any tax reform plan and added that credit unions play a critical role in the nation's economy.
Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Mich.) have also spoken out in support of the credit union tax exemption.
In May, a 550-plus page report on tax policy reform created by 11 Ways and Means working groups was delivered to the Joint Committee on Taxation. And July 26 was the deadline for senators to submit their tax reform proposals to that chamber's Finance Committee leaders.