Mon, May 19, 2014
It has been a busy few weeks for the MD|DC Credit Union Association’s Advocacy Team. Below is a brief summary of several advocacy and legislative activities we have focused on and will continue to move forward with in the coming weeks and months.
The overall focus has been centered on Capitol Hill as the legislative session in Annapolis has ended for the year. The advocacy team will use this ‘down-time’ beyond the Hill to plan a targeted approach to the Md statehouse as the Governor’s race heats up as well as with the DC City Council heading into the fall elections to replace Mayor Vincent Gray.
Advocacy - Capitol Hill
Risk-Based Capital – Congressional Support - The team has recently held meetings with 9 of 11 House and Senate delegation members. Additional meetings and communications with Capitol Hill on several issues remains on-going.
Meetings have included: Sen. Cardin, Reps. Cummings, Rep. Delaney, Rep. Harris, Rep. Hoyer, Rep. Ruppersberger, Rep. Sarbanes, Rep. Van Hollen and Del. Holmes Norton.
The most important issue at the moment is the Risk-Based Capital proposal. We continue to discuss with Hill staff the negative affect these regulations would have on our members while encouraging all our members to file comments by the May 28 deadline with NCUA and to share their letters with their elected representatives.
In addition, we urged staff to consider member signatures on the King-Meeks Congressional letter addressed to NCUA. The letter generated 324 member signatures including 5 from the MD and DC delegations:
Signatures included: Rep. Cummings; Rep. Delaney; Rep. Edwards; Rep. Harris and Del. Holmes Norton
DC Fundraiser – Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton - We attended a fundraiser in support of Del. Holmes Norton. This provided the Association the opportunity to thank Norton for her support of Credit Unions. She stated that she “couldn’t understand why the agency wanted to change the ratios, especially given that credit unions “didn’t cause any of the issues” that caused the financial crisis in 2008.
Member Conference Calls / RBC Filing Comments – the second of two RBC focused conference calls was held for interested all members on May 9 to discuss the issue in more depth leading into the May 28 filing deadline. The Team discussed with members two draft comment letters drafted by the Association to be used as templates by members and stakeholders to adapt and file.
NCUA Comment letters - The number one priority right now through the end of May is working with members to craft, adapt and file comment letters to NCUA and Congressional offices. Follow up and outreach continues with all members to get this accomplished. Our internal goal is 50% of all members filing letters. Several members have now written letters and we are in the process of getting copies for tracking purposes and to judge our progress.
CULAC Permission Agreements - We continue to make a push with all members to sign ‘Permission Agreements for Solicitation’ for CULAC (CUNA’s Political Action Committee). PLEASE NOTE: Signing the Agreement does obligate or commit any member to donate to CULAC. It is more of a housekeeping procedure that allows the Association’s team to then reach out to member credit unions for additional discussion on the purpose and usefulness of CULAC.
Plans to “Hike the Hill” – We are making plans to ‘Hike the Hill’ with all interested credit union members in the fall prior to the mid-term elections. The advocacy team will schedule and coordinate members for a successful ‘Hike.’ Please get your boots ready!
Annapolis - The Association lead by John Bratsakis testified on the Mortgage Foreclosure Bill in committee. The legislation did not advance and in fact no bills that would adversely affect credit unions made it into law during the legislative session.
Annapolis Fundraiser - Del. Dana Stein - We contributed to a fundraiser-reception in support of Del. Dana Stein representing District 11 Baltimore County and a long-time supporter of credit unions. The association will continue to seek targeted opportunities to participate in these events with our supporters.
Washington, DC – We will continue to seek out avenues to get our message points across to DC City Council members and staff moving forward as we develop a more detailed plan of outreach and communications during the current election cycle.