April 08, 2020

Berger outlines additional CU relief measures to Congress

capitolAs lawmakers begin work on a Phase 4 coronavirus relief package, NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger Tuesday wrote to congressional leadership outlining relief measures that NAFCU and credit unions would like to see included in future legislation.

"During times of economic crisis, credit unions always focus on their members and doing all that they can to help," wrote Berger. "It is critical that Congress ensure that measures in Phase IV and beyond assist in this effort."

In the letter, Berger urged Congress to keep the concerns of credit unions "top of mind" and shared three key areas that would provide relief and enable credit unions to serve over 120 million Americans:

  • fixes or updates to earlier relief efforts to address concerns;
  • additional relief measures, including capital relief and modernization of the Federal Credit Union and E-SIGN Acts; and
  • the importance of note enacting harmful proposals that could affect a credit union's ability to serve their members in the economic uncertainty ahead.

Additionally, Berger specifically asked Congress to ensure the Treasury Departments and the Small Business Administration have the tools and resources to properly administer the new paycheck protection program, created under the CARES Act.

"Treasury and SBA must make improvements in the guidance to ensure that the concerns of credit unions and other lenders about uncertainty, institutional liability, and costs to administer the program are addressed," Berger added.

The Senate indicated it will likely vote this week to provide the paycheck protection program with up to $250 billion in additional funds. NAFCU, in another letter to Senate and House leaders, requested that some of those funds be set aside specifically for community-based financial institutions, such as credit unions, to ensure they have the resources available to support small businesses in their communities.

The association remains committed to ensuring a regulatory and legislative environment that allows credit unions to thrive throughout coronavirus relief efforts.

NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Chad Adams Tuesday shared a new grassroots campaign with member credit unions to bolster Berger's letter. Adams last week also urged credit unions to join the association in its advocacy and share their efforts with members of Congress. The association's Grassroots Action Center allows credit unions to easily contact lawmakers to share how their actions are impacting individual institutions, members, and communities.

Credit unions are encouraged to continue contacting NAFCU with updates on how they are doing, what assistance they need, and potential areas to address as Congress continues its work to address the coronavirus.