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Washington Archive

Washington

'Don't Tax My CU' Message Spreads To Spanish Language Site

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WASHINGTON (8/12/13)--The Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign continues to gather interest from all corners, showing up last week on HolaCiudad! (Hello City!), a Spanish-language site that features local and national news and other community resources. 

HolaCiudad!, which is associated with national television network Telemundo, featured CUNA's Don't Tax My Credit Union video and an accompanying story. The story details the threat that the credit union tax status faces due to ongoing tax reform talks in the U.S. Congress, and emphasizes the member-owned nature of credit unions, where profits are returned to those members through lower rates, dividends and other means. This cooperative business model makes credit unions vastly different than banks, the story explains.

CUNA's Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign reminds that any tax on credit unions is really a tax on members since credit unions are cooperatively-owned by the people they serve. If credit unions were taxed, their benefits to members and communities will be lost, and a consumer-friendly option in the financial marketplace will vanish, CUNA states.

Credit unions and their members are using CUNA and the state credit union leagues' resources, social media sites including Facebook, and micro-video site Vine, to tell their legislators, "Don't Tax My Credit Union!" This pro-credit union message is also being shared through Twitter feeds, CUNA's Twitter handle @CUNAadvocacy and the hashtag, #DontTaxMyCU.

The Don't Tax My Credit Union social media presence has placed pro-credit union tax status messages before more than 1.5 million social media users each day, hitting lawmakers with about 10,000 contacts per day. Nearly 660,000 contacts have been made since CUNA launched "Don't Tax My Credit Union" just three months ago.

These outreach efforts have created impressive results: Members of Congress have taken to Twitter and other means to make their support known.
"I know I have been beating this drum a lot lately, but it's because it is so vital to our future. We must continue to engage credit union members, our supporters in small business and in our communities to tell our story for us," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said.

For more Don't Tax My Credit Union resources, use the link.

NEW: Two CU Leaders Named To Fed 2014 Advisory Council

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WASHINGTON (8/13/13, UPDATED 11:54 p.m. ET))--Michael J. Castellana, president/CEO of SEFCU, Albany, N.Y., and Glenn D. Barks, president/CEO of First Community CU, Chesterfield, Mo., are among the 12 members announced by the Federal Reserve Board Monday for its 2014 Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).

The council advises the Fed board on the economy, lending conditions, and other issues and members are selected from representatives of commercial banks, thrift institutions, and credit unions serving on local advisory councils at the 12 Federal Reserve Banks.

One member of each of the Reserve Bank councils serves on CDIAC, which meets twice a year with the Federal Reserve Board in Washington.

The Fed said Drake Mills, who is president/CEO of Community Trust Bank, Ruston, La., will serve as president in 2014.  John B. Dicus, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Capital Federal Savings Bank, Topeka, Kan., will serve as vice president.

Use the resource link to see all 2014 members' names.

Cheney Report Addresses Tax Status, Reg Burden, Interchange

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WASHINGTON (8/12/13)--The latest edition of The Cheney Report provides updates on three issues of critical importance to credit unions: Tax status discussions, interchange, and regulatory relief.

While members of Congress have now completed the first week of their five-week Summer District Work Break, credit unions must keep up the pressure and keep communicating their message, Cheney said in this week's Report.

And, if credit unions need another reason to stay engaged in the Don't Tax My Credit Union campaign, the CUNA CEO provides them with new motivation: bankers. The banks have unveiled the website "It's Time to Pay," which attempts to build a social media presence--presumably among bank employees--toward manufacturing some congressional momentum in taxing credit unions, he added.

Credit unions are already responding, and will not let banks out-message them," Cheney wrote.

As for interchange, CUNA and credit union leagues are working together to help credit unions understand what a recent decision to strike down the federal reserve's interchange rules means for them and their operations.

A hearing on this decision is set for Aug. 14. CUNA will attend the hearing and inform credit unions of pertinent developments, the CUNA CEO noted.
CUNA is also advocating for credit union interests as the National Credit Union Administration conducts its annual "regulatory review." The agency is taking a second look at one-third of its regulations each year, and this reexamination is the "perfect time to take action to lessen the regulatory load," Cheney said.

Each Friday, The Cheney Report provides a valuable window into CUNA's actions on behalf of member credit unions and reinforces the value of CUNA membership. To sign up for The Cheney Report, click the resource link below and use the "subscribe" tab on the right of the page.

Past issues of The Cheney Report are also archived on cuna.org.

Cap Back In Place On Federal Student Loans

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WASHINGTON (8/12/13)--President Barack Obama signed a bill Friday afternoon that will lower the federal student loan rate to 3.86% for direct loans for undergraduate students, after it shot up to 6.8% in July.
 
The bill, known as the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, passed the U.S. House a little more than a week ago and was approved by the Senate a week before that.
 
The legislation ties federal student loan interest rates to the 10-year U.S. Treasury note. Individual rates will be locked in for the life of the loan. Students and their families will be protected from sharply increasing interest rates.

The administration estimates that the new rate cap law will save a typical undergraduate student $1,500 over the life of his or her loans.

"This legislation allows borrowers to benefit from the low interest rates currently available in the marketplace, guarantees that borrowers are able to lock in these rates over the life of their loans, and protects future borrowers by capping how high rates can rise," said a White House Blog entry.
 
The bill does not affect private student loan rates.