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Data Security a Focus During Missouri Hike the Hill

Data security was a top priority for legislative meetings during Missouri Hike the Hill, June 9-10. Credit union staff and volunteers from five credit unions across the state thanked U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (R) for reintroducing S. 961, the Data Security Act of 2015, and encouraged the other members of Missouri’s delegation to support data security legislation. There is a companion bill, H.R. 2205, on the U.S. House side. 

Missouri Hike the Hill included visits to all ten Missouri Congressional offices in Washington, D.C. In addition to data security, attendees highlighted other key concerns – including easing regulatory burden and credit union specific issues such as preserving the credit union tax status, member business lending and supplemental capital.

Regulatory relief was the major topic of discussion with U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-District 3). Luetkemeyer has introduced several bills addressing credit union regulatory concerns, including H.R. 601, the Eliminate Privacy Notice Confusion Act and H.R. 1233, the Community Lending Enhancement and Regulatory Relief Act of 2015 (CLEARR Act).   

Participants thanked U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-District 1) during their meeting for recently introducing H.R. 2473, the Preserving Capital Access and Mortgage Liquidity Act of 2015. This bill would include credit unions as community financial institutions under the Federal Home Loan Bank Act.

Representatives from Anheuser-Busch Employees’ Credit Union, BluCurrent Credit Union, St. Louis Community Credit Union, United Consumers Credit Union and Vantage Credit Union took part in Hike the Hill. 

"It was very impressive to attend this well-organized event with such knowledgeable credit union employees," said attendee Jim McGee, a volunteer board member for BluCurrent Credit Union.

“I came home with a very positive feeling following our Hike the Hill visits,” says Randy Yeck, Vantage Credit Union Executive Vice President. “The lawmakers and staff asked a lot of questions and paid attention to the issues we raised. The biggest challenge is getting votes to actually take place.” 

Lawmakers also expressed interest in the group’s June 8 visit with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which centered on overdraft protection (ODP) concerns and regulatory burden. Follow-up action is requested by member credit unions.

Participants encourage more credit unions to engage with federal legislative and regulatory issues.

“There’s so much going on in Washington that affects credit unions one way or the other, so it’s extremely important to talk with our Congressional delegation and the CFPB every chance we get,” says Mike O’Brien, St. Louis Community Credit Union Senior Vice President and Chief Advocacy Officer. “The Missouri Credit Union Association and Credit Union National Association do a great job on our behalf, but our lawmakers need and want to hear from us, too. We may not see immediate change as a result of the effort, but it does make a difference over time – the relationship building is key to our long-term success.”

Taking Action

Credit unions can address the data security issue with staff and members and communicate with members of Congress via www.stopthedatabreaches.com. You can also use Twitter and Facebook to follow-up efforts with the hashtag #StoptheDataBreaches.

The Member Activation Program (MAP) helps credit unions engage with members on advocacy issues. Credit unions using MAP have found that it not only activates members on advocacy issues, but it increases members’ loyalty to their credit unions.

Future Meetings

The Missouri Credit Union Association’s fall Hike the Hill is scheduled for October 20-22, which takes place together with the Kansas Credit Union Association.  MCUA will also schedule in-district federal meetings in August and September when members of Congress are home.

Contact Amy McLard via email or 800.392.3074, ext. 1370 if you are interested in participating in the in-district meetings or other legislative activities. 

Additional photos are also available through the Credit Union Advocates of Missouri’s Facebook page

Caption 1: U.S.. Senator Roy Blunt (R), center, meets with (L to R), David Kent (MCUA), Jim McGee (BluCurrent Credit Union), Randy Yeck (Vantage Credit Union), Charlie Waalkes (Anheuser-Busch Employees' Credit Union), Amy McLard (MCUA), Jay Neathery (United Consumers Credit Union), Mike O'Brien (St. Louis Community Credit Union), and Don Cohenour (MCUA).

Caption 2: U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer  (R-District 3) meets with credit union representatives from his district. 

Caption 3: U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay, Jr. (D-District 1) meets with Waalkes, Cohenour, McLard, O'Brien and Yeck. 

Caption 4: U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II (D-District 5) meets with Neathery, Cohenour, McLard and Kent.

Caption 5 (bottom left): U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-District 7) discussed issues with credit union volunteer Jim McGee and MCUA staff. 

Caption 6 (bottom right): U.S. Rep. Jason Smith (R-District 8), center, meets with Cohenour, Yeck, Waalkes, McLard and O'Brien.