In front of hundreds of credit union representatives at NAFCU's Congressional Caucus, Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., Wednesday said is she supportive of and will cosponsor a bill allowing credit unions of all charter types to add underserved areas to their fields of membership. NAFCU fully supports such a measure.
"I am so excited to announce that I am going to cosponsor legislation that will open credit unions' field of membership to anyone that belongs to a needy, poor community," Moore, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, told Caucus attendees. "Current rules are tremendously outdated and only allow credit unions to serve certain demographic areas."
In addition to Moore, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., House Financial Services Subcommittee Chairman Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., Reps. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., Vincent Gonzalez, D-Texas, Cedric Richmond, D-La., and Ted Budd, R-N.C., encouraged attendees to tell their respective senators and representatives the impact credit unions have on people's everyday lives.
Richmond said it's often hard for lawmakers to understand the consequences of rules they're putting on institutions, but he told the audience to "stress to members [of Congress] how important credit unions' tax-exempt status is to you, how important achieving regulatory reform is and how it's affecting your core mission to help people in your community."
Another common theme throughout each of the representatives' comments was the need to reduce credit unions' regulatory burdens. Emmer said recent federal government actions have "been eroding your ability to do what you do best, which is making sure that people with the next great idea have the capital to get started."
Budd recommended that the CFPB be placed under appropriations in order to rein in its "onerous approach to regulations," and Huizenga, chairman of the Capital Markets, Securities, and Investment Subcommittee, is hopeful the CHOICE Act will become law so credit union members are "beneficiaries" of the relief.
As chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, Royce also discussed the need to modernize anti-money laundering efforts. In a similar vein, Gonzalez said it's unfortunate that financial institutions, rather than a government agency, must "play cop" and shoulder the burden of compliance.
Wednesday was the final day of NAFCU's 2017 Congressional Caucus. Next year's Caucus will be Sept. 11-14, 2018; members can register for it here.