With Congress out of session this week, credit union trade groups are urging members to get in touch with legislators before they head back to Washington.

“It’s a great time for credit union executives and credit union members to engage with their members of Congress because they are in the district and can speak locally about the issues at hand,” said Eli Joseph, deputy chief advocacy officer at the Credit Union National Association.

Credit union advocates have two weeks to press their case before lawmakers return to Capitol Hill on April 9.

“This is one of the longer recess periods for the year for congressional recess, and the number of pertinent issues that are percolating in Congress is substantial,” said Brad Thaler, vice president of legislative affairs at the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Recent lobbying efforts have focused on the a regulatory relief bill that passed the Senate earlier this month but has yet to make it to a vote in the House. Last week Congress was tied up with drafting and passing a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill that the president signed Friday.

“We are hopeful that the House can continue the effort that the Senate has moved forward,” CUNA’s Joseph said. “There are a number of House support provisions within S. 2155. We are also excited to see a couple of Chairman [Jeb] Hensarling’s priorities included in the omnibus.”

With the two-week recess getting under way, CUNA has provided member credit unions with online toolkits to better understand how to organize district meetings with lawmakers. NAFCU, meanwhile, is encouraging its members to invite legislators to visit local credit unions or meet with lawmakers in their district offices.

Financial Services Committee moves 99 bills

In the meantime, credit unions saw more regulatory process last week, as the House Financial Services Committee approved eight bills, bringing the total number of bills reported out of the committee this Congress to 99.

The latest bills passed out of committee include:

· The Protecting Veterans Credit Act of 2017, H.R. 2683 (69-0);
· To require the appropriate Federal banking agencies to recognize the exposure-reducing nature of client margin for cleared derivatives, H.R. 4659 (45-15);
· The Volcker Rule Regulatory Harmonization Act, H.R. 4790 (50-10);
· The Ensuring Quality Unbiased Access to Loans Act of 2017, H.R. 4861 (34-26);
· The Public Company Registration Act, H.R. 5051 (34-26);
· The Small Bank Exam Cycle Improvement Act of 2018, H.R. 5076 (60-0);
· The Practice of Law Technical Clarification Act of 2018, H.R. 5082 (35-25); and
· The Derivatives Fairness Act, H.R. 5323 (34-26).

"These eight important measures continue the Committee's efforts to ensure that hardworking Americans have access to credit; to ensure that the regulatory burden does not fall disproportionately on our smaller banks and credit unions; and to make sure that our startup businesses and our entrepreneurs have access to capital while balancing very legitimate concerns for the stability of our financial system," Chairman Hensarling, R-Texas, said in a statement. "I want to congratulate all of our members for their hard work on these important bills."

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