Despite Government Shutdown, CU Leaders Able to Get Message Across to Lawmakers (Misc News: October 2, 2013)
TOP LEFT: Michigan credit union leaders gather in front of the U.S. Capitol during Hike the Hill.
TOP RIGHT: U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, center, D-Bloomfield Hills, meets with credit union representatives.
BOTTOM RIGHT: U.S. Rep. Bill Huizenga, second from left, R-Zeeland, talks about credit union issues with Hike the Hill participants.
WASHINGTON – Michigan credit union leaders spent two days in the nation’s capital reinforcing the credit union message with the state’s congressional delegation.
MCUL & Affiliates had more than two dozen credit union people in Washington for the Hike the Hill event, a few of whom had either never attended one of the league’s lobbying trips or had not attended in several years. They were able to meet with someone from nearly every lawmaker’s office and in about half the cases actually met with the member themselves. In some of the offices, they at least saw the members long enough to offer a brief “hello.”
The government shutdown that is currently embroiling Congress didn’t have much impact on the visit, MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said.
For their first meeting of the day, the group headed toward Sen. Carl Levin’s office, but found the public entrances to the office buildings closed. By chance, the group encountered none other than Republican uber-consultant Karl Rove on the street and he shared a tip about using a side-door staff entrance.
Staffers and lawmakers all seemed engaged in the discussion of credit union issues, despite the turmoil over the government shutdown that is dominating most conversations in Washington right now, Adams said.
“All of the congressional staff and lawmakers we talked to understood our issues and were engaged in the conversation,” Adams said. “It’s obvious they have heard the credit union message loud and clear.”
All 16 members of the Michigan congressional delegation have offered statements of support for the industry or specifically for the federal credit union tax exemption.
Adams thanked the Michigan credit union delegation for joining league officials for Hike the Hill.
“Our credit union leaders really came ready to talk about the issues,” Adams said.
Credit union people who took part included: Tim Benecke of Wildfire CU; Abbey Bierlein of Community Choice CU; Tonya Brimm and Denise Fox of Education Plus CU; Tony Carnarvon, Lisa Fawcett, Robert Kudla and Paula Piccinini of Co-op Services CU; Pete Dzuris of Northland Area FCU; Tiffany Ford of University of Michigan CU; Mike Loucks and Patrick Spyke of LAFCU; Duane Nelson of United FCU; Mike Newman of Monroe County Community CU; Dana Reif and Carol Schluckbier of Frankenmuth CU; Jill Reno of Financial Plus CU; Connie Taylor of Rockford Community FCU, and Linda Williams of Kellogg Community FCU.
Also in Washington for the event were Adams, Ken Ross, Kieran Marion, Jordan Kingdon and Melissa Osborn from the MCUL staff.