Credit Union Leaders Hike the Hill
Twelve credit union leaders from Missouri visited Washington, D.C. for Hike the Hill October 1-3. Despite the onset of the government shutdown, credit union representatives met with all but one federal lawmaker during the week and focused on the importance of credit unions' tax status.
The Missouri Credit Union Association (MCUA) worked together with the Kansas Credit Union Association to collaborate on Hike the Hill events. The groups met at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for a legislative briefing before heading to the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) on October 1. Attendees received an advance look at changes in the examination process and were able to ask questions and share concerns with NCUA staff members. A meeting with several staff members at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) finished up Hike the Hill on October 3.
When meeting with Missouri lawmakers and their staff on October 2-3, credit union visitors discussed the credit union tax status and other concerns. Congress is working towards comprehensive tax reform and bankers are advocating against credit unions. A top priority was making sure federal lawmakers understand the importance of preserving the credit union tax status and how this affects consumers back home in their districts. In addition to the credit union tax status, Missouri Hike the Hill attendees discussed member business lending, regulatory reform, housing finance reform and encouraged lawmakers to cosponsor legislation.
"We focused attention on our key issues and could immediately counter information provided to lawmakers by bankers from Missouri who were also in town for legislative visits," says Amy McLard, senior vice president of advocacy for MCUA. "The timing of Hike the Hill was extremely effective."
Missouri was one of ten states with credit union representatives in town for Hike the Hill. Several Missouri participants took part in the national credit union virtual rally highlighting the Don't Tax My Credit Union message.
"We don't want to be taxed...we're for the community," said Sharron Payne, a Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union board member.
Credit union staff members and volunteers participating in Missouri Hike the Hill included:
- Dave Osborn - Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union
- Charlie Waalkes - Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union
- Dennis Pierce - CommunityAmerica Credit Union
- Rick Schier - CommunityAmerica Credit Union
- Pat Yokley - CommunityAmerica Credit Union
- Johnny O’Hare - Mid Missouri Credit Union
- Hal James - Missouri Credit Union
- Charlie Hicks - Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union
- Kirk Mondy - Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union
- Sharron Payne - Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union
- Randy Yeck - Vantage Credit Union
- Don Cohenour - Missouri Credit Union Association
- Amy McLard - Missouri Credit Union Association
The Missouri credit union delegation met with the following federal lawmakers and staff:
- U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R)
- U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-District 1)
- U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-District 5)
- U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-District 6)
- U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-District 3)
- U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-District 8)
- Alexis Alber, staff member for U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-District 4)
- Brian O'Shea, staff member for U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner (R-District 2)
- Curtis Trent, staff member for U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-District 7)
MCUA will schedule Capitol Hill visits during the Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) in Washington, D.C. in February. For questions about Hike the Hill or advocacy efforts, please contact Amy McLard, senior vice president of Advocacy, via email or at 314.542.1370.
1) U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-District 8), center, meets with credit union representatives during Hike the Hill.
2) U.S. Rep. Lacy Clay (D-District 1), center, and Hike the Hill participants.
3) U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (R) talks about legislative concerns during a meeting with credit union leaders.
4) U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-District 6) stops for a picture during a Missouri Hike the Hill meeting.