Hike the Hill 2021: Sharing the Credit Union Difference with Congress

Credit unions met with the Maryland and DC Congressional delegations during last week’s Hike the Hill meetings.

Members of Congress and their staff thanked credit unions for being financial backstops during the COVID-19 crisis. Rep. Anthony Brown offered his support saying, “I will continue to champion the issues that are important to you and your members.”

The meetings provided an opportunity for credit unions to share the unique ways they helped employees and members as the crisis unfolded. From giving employees checks to spend at local restaurants to automatically extending loans for 90 days to free financial counseling, credit unions were there for their members. 

Credit union leaders also shared why the unique structure of credit unions enables them to respond nimbly in a crisis. “We are able to offer assistance because we are run by a volunteer board of directors who represent our members, not shareholders who have a financial interest in a return on their investment,” said David Woodruff, President/CEO of APL FCU

Collaboration is also key to the credit union difference according to Theresa Trimble, President/CEO of FRB FCU who told lawmakers and staff, “Credit unions will jump in and help each other out whether it’s across country or across town.”

The MD|DC Credit Union Association appreciates credit union leaders taking the time to participate in the Hike the Hill meetings. Jim Whipp, President/CEO of Five Star FCU, stressed why engagement with Congress is critical for credit unions. “Part of why it’s important to keep a dialogue like this open is that when legislation is contemplated that would have unintended consequences for credit unions-- or that we have insight into -- we can make sure that the industry has a voice.”

Participants met with 10 members and/or staff of the Maryland and DC Congressional Delegations including Senators Cardin and Van Hollen, as well as Reps. Harris, Ruppersberger, Sarbanes, Brown, Trone, Mfume, Raskin and Norton.