Cheney Calls For 535-Seat Strategy In DC

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SAN ANTONIO-It is not easy keeping track of and in touch with 535 politicians who have different beliefs, priorities and agendas, but that is the strategy CUNA is mapping out under Bill Cheney.

During the trade group's America's Credit Union Conference here, Cheney, celebrating his first anniversary as president and CEO of CUNA, said credit unions "need a plan" for every member of Congress.

"We must identify credit unions in every state that will go into action when there is an issue in Congress that affects us," he said. "There are 435 people in the House of Representatives and 100 in the Senate. That is why we need a 535-seat strategy."

One example is raising the business lending cap-a popular talking point for CU trade groups for 13 years now. Cheney told the audience he has been told by several lawmakers "now is the time" to get CUs relief from the restriction that was put in place by HR 1151.

"There seems to be support," he assessed.

CUNA continues to receive assurances the credit union taxation issue is not on the table, but Cheney warned nothing is guaranteed with the federal government looking for ways to close the deficit. He chuckled as he related a recent conversation with a lawmaker who told Cheney the CU tax exemption was not being threatened, so it was not necessary for the grassroots efforts to fire up and inundate their representatives with telephone calls.

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