Credit union trade groups are hailing passage of a measure in the House of Representatives preventing the National Credit Union Administration from becoming involved in the appropriations process.
The Credit Union National Association described the development as a “major advocacy victory” for the credit union industry.
The National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, which supported the move during its annual Congressional Caucus this week in Washington, explained that the amendment to Division D (the Financial Services and General Government appropriations measure) of a broader House appropriations bill passed by a “voice vote.”
The larger bill was scheduled to receive a vote in the House on Thursday.
NAFCU said the amendment was offered by Representatives Mark Amodei (R-Nev.) and Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and will “maintain the integrity” of NCUA as an independent regulator of the credit union industry. The measure also ensures that credit union resources are kept separate from taxpayer resources, NAFCU added.
NAFCU said it urged credit unions in a letter last week to ask their lawmakers to support the amendment.
"The NCUA is an independent federal regulator funded by the nation's federally insured credit unions, and today's amendment is important in preserving that independence," NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger said in a statement. "NAFCU and credit unions extend a heartfelt thanks to Representatives Amodei and Aguilar for standing up for the nation's not-for-profit credit unions and the 110 million members they serve nationwide."
Jim Nussle, president & CEO of CUNA, wrote in a letter to members that the measure came about because of the “ferocious display of credit union advocacy” that it engaged in last week.
“Together, we organized a 360-degree plan of fierce advocacy to help connect you -- our credit union members – with your lawmakers,” Nussle wrote. “Thousands of emails, calls and social media messages from advocates across the country, in concert with constant pressure from CUNA and the leagues' professional advocates on the Hill, changed the votes of dozens of lawmakers who were hesitant to vote ‘yes’ on this measure.”
John J. McKechnie, senior partner at Total Spectrum and a former NCUA official, told Credit Union Journal via email that “this issue genuinely united the credit union community… Everyone did their part, and the result speaks for itself.”