WASHINGTON-If showing up is half the battle, then CUNA and NAFCU are bent on winning.

"You can't win if you don't participate," said NAFCU Director of Political Affairs Katie Marisic. "Participation is power."

CUNA SVP-Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan agreed. "If you are not involved in the process, you are going to be run over by it."

That's why both credit union trade associations made sure credit unions were represented at both of the major parties' national conventions recently. That's why they are forever urging credit unions to write, call and visit their elected officials. And that's why they're raising-and spending-all those PAC dollars.

"We're here to wave the flag at all times. When [lawmakers] are making decisions in the lame duck session or next year on tax reform, we want them to be coming to us and asking where are credit unions on this? We want to be at their door telling them our story. We want them to know we are omnipresent and ever-present."

And while it may look to outsiders like nothing is getting done, sometimes, that's point. "When all those Dodd-Frank regulations came out, a lot more relief was passed because we were at the table," said John Magill, CUNA EVP and chief of staff. "We cannot afford to lay down arms."

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