by Jay Kruse, Chief Advocacy Officer
If you have been paying attention to the national media or my weekly legislative updates, you are aware Congress is struggling to find common ground on a number of issues. They were able to agree on one thing last week, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to avoid a shutdown and fund the government through December 3rd. However, that was the only thing they were able to come to an agreement on as negotiations continue regarding a debt-ceiling hike, the bipartisan infrastructure package, and the Build Back Better Act that includes the very intrusive IRS Reporting Proposal.
Most of you are probably looking for an update on where things stand regarding the IRS Reporting Proposal. We are making headway, but the issue and negotiations are still ongoing. Nationally, over 436,000 messages have been sent to Congress through our credit union Action Alert with 9,771 and 1,899 of those coming from the states of SD and ND respectively. While not one member of Congress has yet to voice their full-throated support for the IRS Reporting Proposal, the White House and Democratic party are expected to continue to push for its inclusion in the legislative package to help foot its large $3.5 trillion price tag.
Supporters of the legislation claim the $3.5 trillion proposal “cost nothing,” which is similar to me claiming my college education “cost nothing” because it has been paid for. In reality, the $3.5 trillion package cost $3.5 trillion, and you and I may possibly be forced to give up our financial privacy to pay for it. That is the exact purpose of the IRS Reporting Proposal, giving the IRS broad authority to keep a close eye on all your bank accounts and use that information to attempt to “close the tax gap” by catching wealthy tax dodgers – a claim that I, along with many others, believe to be almost impossible based on the information that would be provided.
Negotiations are expected to continue for another 3-4 weeks before this could all play out or a compromise is reached. The fact that the Build Back Better Act and bipartisan infrastructure packages were not brought to a vote last week is a telling sign that the $3.5 trillion price tag will likely need to be reduced and closer to $1.5 trillion as a compromise.
We continue to remain engaged on the issue, and it is very important to point out that we do have the full support of our entire Dakota congressional delegation in opposing the IRS Reporting Provision which has been a huge help!
Holiday Raffle Prize Donations Needed!
A challenge has been issued: Can we count on your credit union to step up?
One of the charges of our Government Affairs Committees (GAC) is to raise donations and awareness for our CUPAC/CULAC funds. The GAC is again coordinating the CUPAC/CULAC Holiday Raffle, which will kick-off November 1 and run through December 1. Tickets and promotional materials will be sent out to credit unions in the next few weeks, so be sure to watch for them.
To maximize our fundraising efforts, the GAC is asking for your support. We will be awarding $5,000 in raffle prizes once again this year, which are funded through generous credit union contributions. We are asking credit unions to consider donating between $100 - $1,000, to help us achieve our goal.
The Challenge: Railway CU has made a $250 corporate donation to support the Holiday Raffle and is challenging other Dakota credit unions to follow their lead.
“I want to challenge my Dakota CU brothers and sisters to match or exceed Railway Credit Union’s donation,” said President/CEO Paul Brucker. He adds, “We need to be conscious this is one of the few ways an actual credit union can assist in our advocacy and political process with their own dollars.” Well said, Paul!
Huge shoutouts to Dakotaland FCU for already stepping up to the challenge, matching Railway’s donation, and to the freshly rebranded Levo CU for raising the bar and making a $1,000 donation!
Challenge aside, even if your credit union isn’t in the position to make a $250 donation, any and all donations are greatly appreciated and go a long way in supporting our advocacy efforts here in the Dakotas.
Make a Donation Now!
Feel free to contact me with any questions or comments on our advocacy efforts.
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