July 31, 2015

O'Brien: Advocacy continues thru Congress' August recess

NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Dan O'Brien, in a Credit Union Times editorial, reminded credit union representatives Friday that credit union advocacy does not stop when lawmakers go home for their August recess.

"Lawmakers will be in their home districts and states for five weeks," O'Brien wrote. "[They] will be spending a lot of time with their constituents and meeting with businesses in the community. This is a great time for credit unions to let their lawmakers know how important it is that they cosponsor and support the passage of several important regulatory relief proposals awaiting action in Congress."

O'Brien particularly encouraged credit union representatives to invite lawmakers to visit their credit union, attend a town hall meeting, or contact their lawmakers through a letter or via social media.

O'Brien also emphasized NAFCU's top legislative advocacy priorities, which include:

  • H.R. 2205 and S. 961, the "Data Security Act," which would require retailers to follow a strong national data security standard akin to what financial institutions already follow;
  • H.R. 2287 and S. 924, the "National Credit Union Administration Budget Transparency Act," which would require NCUA to hold a public hearing on its budget; and,
  • H.R. 2769, the "Risk-Based Capital Study Act," which would require NCUA to study the impact of its risk-based capital proposal and report to Congress before enforcing it.

"At the end of the day, advocacy is a call for action," O'Brien concluded. "If we want to make sure credit union issues are positively impacted, it is important for credit unions to take every opportunity to be active and help lawmakers better understand who we represent and the value we provide to their constituents in their home districts and states."

In a separate email to NAFCU members, O'Brien urged members to help make the industry's voice heard over recess. NAFCU members can visit the association's Grassroots Action Center for more guidance on how to reach out to lawmakers about top credit union issues.