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Washington
CU interests asserted in wrangling over financial bill
WASHINGTON (9/23/08)—-“Fluid” was likely the best way to describe developments on Capitol Hill Monday as lawmakers and the Bush Administration--with help from the Credit Union National Association (CUNA)--hammered out details of the plan to save the floundering financial system. CUNA was working with both the legislative and executive branches to ensure that credit union interests were taken into account throughout the legislative drafting process, according to CUNA Legislative Affairs Vice President Ryan Donovan. As the day progressed, new versions of the legislation emerged, reflecting interests of both sides of the aisle in Congress, as well as the positions of the Treasury Department. Through it all, CUNA was working as a conduit for the credit union movement, to explain the impact on credit unions of the effort to authorize the Treasury to absorb up to $700 billion of sour mortgages and mortgage securities. “Each version includes credit unions and their interests implicitly or explicitly,” said Donovan. “We continue our conversations with authors of the legislation, as well as the National Credit Union Administration, to ensure credit unions are included.” CUNA’s first goal is to ensure credit unions are included in any legislation, said Donovan. Secondly, CUNA is working to “make sure such legislation is consistent with credit unions’ cooperative structure.” “The legislative language tends to presume all financial institutions operate the same,” he said. “We’re ensuring the details account for the credit union difference.” Donovan said developments are moving quickly in Washington and he praised lawmakers for addressing the issues in a mostly non-partisan manner.


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