WASHINGTON (10/22/13)--Jason Miller, special assistant to the President in President Barack Obama's National Economic Council, and NEC Senior Advisor Brett Taxin met with Credit Union National Association President/CEO Bill Cheney and senior CUNA staff Monday to discuss credit union concerns on a range of issues, including tax reform.
Addressing credit union tax status issues with the White House comes at a critical time, noted Cheney after the meeting. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Dave Camp (R-Mich.) and Senate Finance Committee Chair Max Baucus (D-Mont.) have underscored they remain committed to tax reforms. Tax reform could also be discussed as the budget conference committee convenes as part of the deal to reopen the government meets in the coming weeks.
"We are very aware that work continues on drafts in both chambers, which makes our continued grassroots efforts on this issue very important," Cheney underscored.
The NEC staff indicated the administration fully recognizes the important role that credit unions play in the U.S. economy and all of our communities.
Cheney called the meeting "extremely cordial" and added, "I feel we had a very good opportunity to reinforce how imperative the tax exemption is for credit unions, as well as raise a range of other issues that are critical for the credit union system, such as the regulatory burdens that credit unions face on a daily basis," Cheney said. CUNA Senior Vice President for Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan, Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn, General Counsel Eric Richard, and Chief Economist Bill Hampel also attended the meeting.
Topics covered by CUNA during the meeting also included:
- The importance of ensuring fair access for credit unions to the secondary market as housing finance reform is addressed;
- The growing and immediate need for regulatory relief;
- The catalyst that removing the member business loan (MBL) cap would be to greater small business lending at credit unions; and
- The impact that access to supplementary capital for all credit unions could have on the ability of credit unions to serve their members and communities.
Concerns that regulators and the secondary market may require mortgage loans to be "qualified mortgages" under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's Ability to Repay rule were also among the priority issues raised during the meeting.
"We were encouraged by the NEC staff to follow up with them on these and other issues and we look forward to continuing the dialogue on the significant issues facing the credit union system," Cheney added.