Good Morning! After a two-year hiatus, our in-person Hike the Hill meetings during the CUNA GAC made a return and were better than ever!
With the State of the Union taking place Tuesday night and the threat of a convoy of “big rigs” rolling into the District at any time, security was on high alert, which made navigating Capitol Hill a little less enjoyable than past years. The fence is back up around the Capitol and additional layers of security screening have been added to all buildings on the Hill, including the House and Senate office buildings. To top it all off, once you are inside the Capitol or office buildings, congressional staff is required to escort visitors to and from their destination.
While all of that might sound like a major headache, it actually wasn’t thanks to the extra work and coordination provided by the staff of each of our Dakotas’ congressional offices. We can’t thank them enough for their planning and preparation to ensure the process went as smoothly as possibly for a group of our size! Our credit union group was also trailblazers in a sense, as we are really the first large industry group to visit D.C. since the beginning of the pandemic! We are definitely honored to set the example and get our Dakotas’ grassroots advocates back in front of our elected officials in Washington to talk about credit union issues and the many ways we are working to provide “Financial Well-Being for All.”
Most of our discussion this week began with expressing our concerns about the recently released NCUA Strategic Plan in which they did not speak highly of agricultural lending, even going as far as recommending credit unions find other products and services to take the place ag lending. Not only is it extremely important that we stand up for our Dakota credit unions but, even more importantly, it’s on us to also stand up for our local producers that help feed America from their farms and ranches located right here in the Dakotas! We also made sure to thank our entire congressional delegation for their support on a number of credit union related issues over the last few months, including the recent IRS Reporting Proposal, Interchange, the CFPB, and rural appraisals in addition to discussing a couple federal bills that address Field of Membership expansion and member expulsion.
This is a very busy and crazy time in America and across the world, and we can’t thank our Dakota representatives, Senators Thune, Rounds, Hoeven, and Cramer, and Congressmen Johnson and Armstrong, along with their very hard-working staffs for taking good care of us and making sure our visits to our nation’s capitol was as safe and very productive.
We all pray for Ukraine as they defend themselves against Russian Dictator President Vladimir Putin as he attempts to cement his place in history among Hitler, Stalin, and Hussein as one of the most hated and ruthless leaders of all time.
Finally, thank you to everyone that was able to join us this year in-person for the 2022 CUNA GAC. We couldn’t have asked for a better group to represent North and South Dakota credit unions, and I truly appreciate the opportunity to lead the advocacy activities for your association! Also, thank you to everyone that wasn’t able to attend but followed along via The Memo and our social media accounts. Your support is the secret behind all our success!
We are already looking forward to getting back out to D.C. this September for our Fall Hike the Hill, and we will never stop being your best advocate here and in our nation’s capital.
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