by Chesney Garnos, Director of Political & Grassroots Affairs
Advocacy team travels to Washington, D.C.
As I alluded to in my previous memo article, our advocacy team headed east to Washington, D.C. last week. It was a short trip, filled with meetings and networking events. On the evening of Tuesday, November 7th (which also happened to be election night), I had the opportunity to catch up with a former colleague who works as an election consultant across the U.S. It was interesting to get a perspective on the various races across the nation, and what that could indicate for the 2024 election cycle. Jeff, John, and I had the opportunity to meet that evening as well to plan for our Wednesday and Thursday meetings.
On Wednesday, we started off our morning at CUNA headquarters, where we met with the President of the American Association of Credit Union Leagues (AACUL), Brad Miller. We followed up this meeting with South Dakota’s very own, Jason Stverak. Fun fact – Jason and my father, Cooper Garnos, spent time working together in the South Dakota State Legislature in the late 1990s. Jason and I put two and two together that we probably met all those years ago. After our meeting with Jason, we had the privilege to meet with the CUNA advocacy team. This was extremely insightful as we went over key legislation that could impact our credit unions. John talked more about that legislation his article last week, which is definitely worth the read if you missed it!
We grabbed some coffee and a salad for lunch and continued our day with more CUNA meetings. We met with the PAC team, which was one of my favorite discussions! I was able to bounce a couple fundraiser ideas off the team that we could implement in South Dakota, and I’m really looking forward to working with them on this specific initiative. We also met with Richard Gose and the state team to wrap up our meetings at CUNA headquarters. We followed our meetings by crashing the Illinois Hike the Hill event at Credit Union House – which has me pumped for our DakCU Hike the Hill next September!
Thursday morning came quickly! We went to the Capitol to meet with the South Dakota and North Dakota delegations’ staffers. It was a special day for me, as I got to see former coworkers and friends in the South Dakota offices. For the most part, the day couldn’t have gone smoother. In each office, important questions were asked and there truly were some great discussions in all six congressional offices. The CDFI Fund Transparency Act, Veterans and Member Business Loan Act, and The Credit Union Modernization Act were key bills discussed in Senator Thune, Senator Rounds, and Congressman Dusty Johnson’s office. If you would like more information about these bills, feel free to reach out to me! That evening, I had an opportunity to gather with staffers from various offices on the hill and then it was back to the hotel room to pack my bags for an early flight back to South Dakota Friday morning.
Will the government shutdown?
The looming potential government shutdown remains the focus this week. If they cannot come up with an agreement, the U.S. government will shut down on November 17 (just a few days away), impacting thousands of Americans. There is a continuing resolution (CR) floating around that could provide a short-term solution to government funding and keep agencies open, but there is no clear solution at this point. More on the topic to come.
What happened on the House floor last week?
The Fiscal Year 2024 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act (H.R. 4664) was pulled from the House floor last week before a vote on the act could happen. With over 100 amendments to the bill, House Speaker Johnson questioned if he would successfully be able to pass the bill on the floor. At this time, we do not know when it will be brought back to the floor for a vote. This is an important bill to credit unions, as it includes key priorities and funding you can read below:
Read the entire letter from CUNA here.
Election resource tool for credit unions has been launched!
A great tool for election tracking in relation to credit unions has officially launched. With shortly under a year to go for the 2024 elections, this tool can help credit unions track registration status, polling location, candidates, and more. Check out CreditUnionsVote.com to start using this interactive resource today.
Credit Unions Continue to Support Veterans’
Saturday was Veteran’s Day and I hope you had the opportunity to thank a veteran! To me, Veteran’s Day is much more than just a day to celebrate; I think there are opportunities to serve those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. That is one reason why I love the credit union movement so much, because of their willingness to serve those who have served our country. This was reinforced on November 8th in a message to Congress, as CUNA called for congressional support to pass the Veterans Member Business Loan Act. This is also the bill I had the opportunity to speak on in Senator Thune, Senator Rounds, and Congressman Johnson’s office. This bipartisan legislation in both the Senate and House would exempt loans to veteran-owned businesses from the 12.25% member business lending cap.
Last, but not least!
Important Dates to Add to Your Calendar:
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