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Thank you for your participation in the 2021 Virtual CUNA GAC hill visits. Here you will find a schedule of virtual hill visits, talking points, answers to frequently asked questions, and other resources that will ensure successful meetings with lawmakers.

 

To help prepare you for these meetings, the LSCU advocacy team has recorded a webinar. This webinar includes an overview of the CUNA GAC, instructions for meeting registration if you have not yet done so, the Hill Visit meeting format, tips for successful lawmaker meetings, and a brief walk-through on our legislative issues. To view this webinar, please click here.

 

With the CUNA GAC going completely virtual this year, along with existing gaming laws in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, LSCU will not able to participate in this year’s CULAC Sweepstakes. Even without the ability to participate in the Sweepstakes, LSCU is committed to making a strong PAC statement at this year’s GAC. The PAC dollars raised at the GAC are crucial to our overall fundraising goals and just as important now as it was during an in-person conference. Please consider making a contribution to LSCU FedPAC in the days leading up to or during the CUNA GAC.

 

Yes, I want to contribute!

 

 

FAQs

How do I participate in the hill visits for CUNA GAC this year?

A major benefit to our virtual event is the ability to include as many advocates as possible in the lawmaker meetings, not just a select few. Find your pertinent meetings ahead of time on LSCU’s CUNA GAC page under the dropdown menus. On the day of the meeting, simply find the meeting on the page and click “Click here for meeting info” where the zoom log on is stored. It’s that simple!

 

Can I participate in the hill visits without registering for CUNA GAC?

LSCU encourages members to register for the 2021 CUNA GAC. Although virtual, this conference will provide attendees the opportunity to hear from great speakers and participate is interactive breakout sessions. However, if you are unable to register for the CUNA GAC, LSCU still welcomes you to participate in the hill meetings.

 

Is zoom etiquette different for virtual hill meetings than for other zoom meetings?

Over the past year, LSCU has arranged numerous phone calls and virtual hill meetings with lawmakers to inform them of our members’ immediate concerns during the COVID-19 crisis. These calls were vitally important, but short and to-the-point. These hill meetings will be longer, more conversational, and our chance to inform lawmakers of issues that affect us, including but not limited to COVID response. Since they are official business meetings, we ask that everyone dress for a meeting on Capitol Hill and turn on your camera! We will also engage the “raise your hand” function for those who have questions.

 

What is the format for these meetings?

Our general layout begins with our LSCU moderator introducing the lawmaker to those on the call. Then the lawmaker will take some time to speak to the group. Afterwards, we will move into a question and answer and informative discussion. Please refer to the talking points below for information about our legislative issues and potential matters for discussion. We expect the meetings to last between 30 and 45 minutes. At the end of each meeting, we will take a photo of all our participants for social media and newsletter purposes, so make sure to smile!

 

Resources

Legislative Issues and Talking Points

 

THE CREDIT UNION DIFFERENCE

 

For 86 years, credit unions have been one of the strongest investments Congress has made in America’s communities. Credit unions are the original consumer financial protectors. They are not-for-profit, member-owned financial cooperative that provide the same financial services that traditional banks do, but that’s where the comparisons end. Every credit union member is a shareholder because they’re all individual owners. A credit union’s net income is shared with all its members, which generally means fewer fees, better rates, higher savings return, easier access to credit, and better, more personalized service.

 

Today, 120 million American consumers (10.3 million in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia) continue to choose credit unions as their financial services partner. Credit unions continue to advance our not-for-profit, collaborative mission pre, during, and post-pandemic. We invest in the financial health and security of every community. Credit unions remain committed to ensuring that our members have access to safe, affordable services that work for their individual needs and help them achieve their financial goals.

 

Here are a few more standout differences:

 

  • Credit unions provide members with financial literacy and counseling.
  • Credit unions save members $13.6 billion annually.
  • Even non-members benefit by $5.3 billion annually due to the presence of credit unions in local banking markets.
  • In addition to advancing our communities by strengthening financial well-being, credit unions account for nearly $20 billion in local, state, and federal taxes annually.

 

CREDIT UNION RESPONSE TO THE PANDEMIC

 

Members have looked to their credit unions for financial guidance during the devastating financial stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why credit unions are considered financial first responders.

 

Since the beginning of this crisis, credit unions have remained on the front lines implementing changes to their products and services to increase both member and non-member access to desperately needed credit. Additional types of assistance credit unions have offered to those affected by COVID-19 include:

 

  • SBA Payroll Participation Program loans
  • New loan products (payroll advance, 0% personal loan, deferred payment, etc.)
  • Emergency loans
  • Modifications to existing loans (skip-a-payment, payment extensions, reduced interest, etc.)
  • Fee waivers/reductions
  • Other services (financial counseling, debt consolidation, credit protection, etc.)
  • Donations or assistance to community organizations

 

Credit union executives know their individual pandemic responses and should be prepared to share them with Members and staff. Some recommended data points to share are:

 

  • Numbers of forbearances, payment deferrals, and their status – as well as the frequency of requests.
  • How many of your members who were in forbearance still paid.
  • Actual losses, autos, credit cards, signature loans, etc.
  • What you see on the horizon going into 2021.
  • Grand totals of fees waived, and impact on the credit union.
  • Totals of Paycheck Protection Program loans approved by your credit union

 

MERCHANT DATA BREACH

 

Credit unions are required by the Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) to have data security standards over their member’s data. This is verified by prudential regulators during routine examination. GLBA was passed in 1999 and remains effective today.

 

The GLBA does not, however, pre-empt state laws, allowing the states to further define security standards and breach notification laws. In 2018 California passed the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), a comprehensive privacy regime that applies to businesses operating in CA with revenue above $25 million. CCPA contains narrow exceptions, for items covered under GLBA. However, if each state were to pass a different version of CCPA, not only would this complicate compliance for GLBA, but it would also complicate compliance across the nation.

 

  • Credit unions support a strong national data law that should cover all businesses and entities that collect, use, share, process, house and transmit personal information or other sensitive data. No entity should be able to escape responsibility.
  • State attorneys general and the Federal Trade Commission should have authority to enforce privacy laws.
  • Banking regulators should retain enforcement authority over those they examine given the success of the GLBA.
  • National data protection and consumer notification standards with effective enforcement provisions.
  • Preemption of inconsistent state laws and regulations in favor of strong Federal data protection and notification standards.
  • Ability for credit unions and banks to inform customers and members about a breach, including where it occurred.
  • Shared responsibility for all those involved in the payments system for protecting consumer data. The costs of a data breach should ultimately be borne by the entity that incurs the breach.

 

Our Ask of Congress:

 

Credit unions have followed GLBA’s privacy and data security requirement for over 20 years. We agree there needs to be an update in this day of digital privacy. Our position is to support a very strong national data security law that brings all those that collect, use, share, process, and house consumer information under one uniform standard.

 

PRESERVING THE CREDIT UNION TAX EXEMPTION

 

Federal Credit unions, as not-for-profit cooperatives, are categorized as tax exempt under section 501(c) (1) of the U.S. tax code, while state-chartered credit unions enjoy the same tax treatment under section 501(c)(14). Credit unions are organized and operated by volunteer boards of directors, do not sell stock or bonds, and return all profits to their members. To retain this structure, Congress has upheld an exemption from federal income taxes that was granted in the initial 1934 Federal Credit Union Act.

 

  • Credit unions continue to prove our tax exemption by:
  • Adhering to our mission and philosophy of people helping people. For example, short-term loans, courtesy pay, or payday loans are roughly 400% lower than other lenders.
  • More than half of credit union originated mortgages go to middle- or lower-income borrowers. Nearly 50% of credit unions have a specific focus on serving lower-income families.
  • More than 10% of credit unions are certified minority depository institutions.
  • Annually, credit unions provide $18.9 billion in direct and in-direct benefits to the consumer, outweighing our $1.9 billion price tag for the credit union tax status. While tax exempt from income, credit unions annually pay nearly $20 billion in local, state, and other federal taxes.

 

Our ask to Congress:

 

  • Please ensure the credit union tax status continues to be upheld.
  • Please speak with colleagues on the House Ways and Means Committee/Senate Finance Committee, speak to party leadership, and speak at any opportunity to assist your locally-owned and controlled credit unions.

 

OTHER IMPORTANT ISSUES

 

Small Business Lending – Member Business Lending

Credit unions continue to support legislation that would grant a one-year freeze from the credit union member-business lending cap. We estimate this reprieve would generate about $5.5B nationally in economic growth along with 50,000 jobs. Legislation on this issue is pending introduction.

 

Stimulus Checks/Impact on Net Worth

Credit unions are experiencing a high volume of deposits as consumers receive stimulus checks or Economic Impact Payments. Because of our unique structure, deposit growth can put strains on the credit union balance sheet that brings about unnecessary regulatory scrutiny. We are speaking with the Financial Services and Senate Banking Committees about this issue, as no healthy credit union should be penalized on account of stimulus checks.

 

Charter Bills

Credit unions understand the realities of legislating in this environment. We know there are large national priorities from the healthcare crisis to social justice issues. We want to be a solution and aid our communities. Supporting new charter bills will ensure credit unions can bring financial inclusion to new levels, while ushering equitable financial well being.

 

Postal Banking

To expand consumers’ access to more banking options credit unions adamantly support and are diligently working toward the goal of expanding banking access, but we have grave reservations about proposals to leverage the United States Postal Service or create a public bank to achieve this goal.

 

Cannabis Banking

Providing financial services for cannabis related businesses is a choice for each individual credit union, and only a few are offering these services until there is a change in federal law. Credit unions nationally support the SAFE Banking Act as well as the STATES Act, both which would take steps to provide a safe harbor on this product line.

District Member Date Register
AL01 Rep. Jerry Carl    
AL02 Rep. Barry Moore March 4th | 10:00 a.m. CST Register Here
AL03 Rep. Mike D. Rogers March 9th | 9:00 a.m. CST Register Here
AL04 Rep. Robert Aderholt March 10th | 2:30 p.m. CST Please contact
Blake Westbrook
to register.
AL05 Rep. Mo Brooks March 2nd | 1:00 p.m. CST Register Here
AL06 Rep. Gary Palmer March 2nd | 4:00 p.m. CST Register Here
AL07 Rep. Terri Sewell March 8th | 9:30 p.m. CST Register Here
US Senate Sen. Tommy Tuberville March 9th | 1:00 p.m. CST Register Here
US Senate Sen. Richard Shelby March 2nd | 2:00 p.m. CST Register Here

District Member Date Register
FL01 Rep. Matt Gaetz March 8th | 2:00 p.m. EST Register Here
FL02 Rep. Neal Dunn March 9th | 1:00 p.m. EST Register Here
FL03 Rep. Kat Cammack    
FL04 Rep. John Rutherford March 10th | 11:30 a.m. EST Please contact
Murphy Kennedy
to register
FL05 Rep. Al Lawson    
FL06 Rep. Michael Waltz March 4th | 11:30 a.m. EST Register Here
FL07 Rep. Stephanie Murphy March 5th | 11:30 a.m. EST Register Here
FL08 Rep. Bill Posey March 2nd | 10:30 a.m. EST Register Here
FL09 Rep. Darren Soto March 10th | 11:00 a.m. EST Register Here
FL10 Rep. Val Demings March 9th | 11:00 a.m. EST Register Here
FL11 Rep. Daniel Webster March 2nd | 2:00 p.m. EST Register Here
FL12 Rep. Gus Bilirakis    
FL13 Rep. Charlie Crist March 3rd | 10:30 a.m. EST Register Here
FL14 Rep. Kathy Castor    
FL15 Rep. Scott Franklin March 3rd | 3:00 p.m. EST Register Here
FL16 Rep. Vern Buchanan    
FL17 Rep. Greg Steube March 3rd | 1:45 p.m. EST Register Here
FL18 Rep. Brian Mast March 3rd | 1:30 p.m. EST Register Here
FL19 Rep. Byron Donalds March 2nd | 10:00 a.m. EST Register Here
FL20 Rep. Alcee Hastings March 9th | 1:45 p.m. EST Register Here
FL21 Rep. Lois Frankel    
FL22 Rep. Ted Deutch March 1st | 10:30 a.m. EST Register Here
FL23 Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz    
FL24 Rep. Frederica Wilson    
FL25 Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart March 2nd | 4:30 p.m. EST Please contact
Murphy Kennedy
to register
FL26 Rep. Carlos Gimenez    
FL27 Rep. Maria Elvira Salazar    
US Senate Sen. Marco Rubio March 3rd | 1:00 p.m. EST Register Here
US Senate Sen. Rick Scott March 4th | 2:00 p.m. EST Register Here

District Member Date Register
GA01 Rep. Buddy Carter March 8th | 10:00 a.m. EST Register Here
GA02 Rep. Sanford Bishop    
GA03 Rep. Drew Ferguson March 2nd | 3:00 p.m. EST Register Here
GA04 Rep. Hank Johnson March 10th | 1:00 p.m. EST Register Here
GA05 Rep. Nikema Williams    
GA06 Rep. Lucy McBath March 4th | 11:00 a.m. EST Register Here
GA07 Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux March 5th | 2:00 p.m. EST Register Here
GA08 Rep. Austin Scott March 2nd | 3:30 p.m. EST Register Here
GA09 Rep. Andrew Clyde March 3rd | 11:30 a.m. EST Register Here
GA10 Rep. Jody Hice March 10th | 3:00 p.m. EST Register Here
GA11 Rep. Barry Loudermilk March 4th | 9:00 a.m. EST Register Here
GA12 Rep. Rick Allen March 4th | 9:30 a.m. EST Register Here
GA13 Rep. David Scott    
GA14 Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene March 11th | 11:00 a.m. EST Register Here
US Senate Sen. Jon Ossoff    
US Senate Sen. Raphael Warnock March 10th | 2:00 p.m. EST Register Here

 

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Alabama Office: 22 Inverness Center Pkwy., Suite 200, Birmingham, AL 35242

Florida Office: 3692 Coolidge Court, Tallahassee, FL 32311

Georgia Office: 2810 Premiere Pkwy., Suite 150, Duluth, GA 30097

 

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