2016 Election Update from NAFCU President and CEO B. Dan Berger

November 9, 2016

Good morning.

With the majority of election results now in, I am writing to give you an update from the credit union perspective. Overall, it was a good night for friends of credit unions.

Thanks to the support of many of you, NAFCU-PAC (NAFCU’s political action committee) participated in over 130 campaigns of candidates and members of Congress who support credit union issues. To date, 97% of NAFCU-PAC supported candidates have won their elections.

As you know, President-elect Donald Trump has won the presidential election defeating Hillary Clinton. NAFCU’s lobbying team has been in contact with the Trump Campaign and transition team advocating the need for credit union regulatory relief in a President Trump Administration. President-elect Trump has advocated for the rollback of regulations on the campaign trail.

In the Senate, despite an uphill battle of defending more seats, the Republicans maintained the majority. Several credit union friends won their re-election easily, including Senator Mike Crapo (R-ID) who will likely be the Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee in the new Congress. Fellow Banking Committee member, Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) won his re-election in Pennsylvania. Three members of the House won their Senate races to move to the upper chamber - Representatives Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Todd Young (R-IN) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD). All have a history of supporting credit union issues. Two Senate races still remain undecided -New Hampshire where Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) is in a close race against Governor Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Louisiana which will go to a run-off on December 10th, between Republican John Kennedy and Democrat Foster Campbell. NAFCU is looking forward to continuing to build relationships with the new Senators and work with them in the new Congress.

Yesterday also saw a couple of losses for credit union allies. Representative Joe Heck (R-NV) lost his bid to replace retiring Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) to Democrat Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). She will become the first Latina Senator and has a track record of working with credit unions in the State of Nevada and we expect that she will continue to do an exemplary job of representing credit unions and their members while serving in the Senate. Representative Frank Guinta (R-NH), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, lost his re-election bid against former Member of Congress Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH). Representative-elect Shea-Porter also has a history of working with credit unions when she was in Congress.

In the House, committee leaders (some returning and some new) will take over with a strong majority and renewed opportunity to shepherd legislation to the President Trump’s desk. It should be noted that with Republicans set to control the House, Senate and White House, the likelihood of action on regulatory relief increases for the next Congress.

NAFCU’s legislative priorities in the next Congress will remain much the same as they are today including protecting the tax exemption, enacting regulatory relief, and bringing about needed data security reforms to hold merchants accountable for breaches. We will be sharing more information about these and all of our priorities with you in the incoming weeks as the new Congress prepares to convene in January.

The results of the Presidential election will also have an impact on credit union regulators, as President-elect Trump will likely have an open NCUA Board seat when he takes office and the ability to name the chairman. Also, given the recent court ruling on the CFPB, President Trump could also have the ability to replace CFPB Director Richard Cordray when he takes office.

While election season in 2016 is winding down, Congress will return to Washington next week for the start of the lame-duck session to try to complete the work from this Congress. I ask you to remain engaged with your elected officials on the need to get important measures for credit unions still pending – such as regulatory relief and data security– over the finish line in the last days of session, and to educate lawmakers on the work ahead in the 115th Congress.

Much remains to be seen as to how President-elect Trump will build his administration.  In the meantime, we will keep you updated on developments in the lame duck session as they occur. Please feel free to contact me or NAFCU’s Vice President of Legislative Affairs, Brad Thaler, at 703-842-2204 or bthaler@nafcu.org with any questions you may have.

Dan Berger 
B. Dan Berger
President & CEO

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