Tax-Writing CU Antagonist Retires FromCongress

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WASHINGTON - (03/07/06) -- Rep. Bill Thomas, a sometime criticof credit unions as chairman of the tax-writing House Ways andMeans Committee, announced he will retire from Congress at the endof his 14th term. Thomas, nearing the end of his term-limited sixthyears as chairman of the taxing panel, incurred the wrath of creditunions when he wondered on several occasions whether credit unionswere earning their federal tax exemption by providing services tomembers of modest means. His inquiry led him to hold unprecedentedhearings on the tax exemption last November where several membersjoined him in questioning whether credit unions were continuing tofulfill their mission of serving members of modest means. ThoughThomas ended the hearings by insisting he does not want to repealthe tax exemption he called on the industry to prove itself and forCongress and regulators to do more to monitor credit union servicesto the underserved.

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