New York attendees visit with Schumer at CUNA GAC ahead of Hike the Hill event

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New York credit union advocates attending the CUNA Governmental Affairs Conference are taking their message to federal lawmakers with a full day of credit union advocacy planned on Capitol Hill today.

New York attendees began their advocacy efforts yesterday, when they met with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, who expressed his support of the New York credit union movement, saying, “I love the credit unions.”

Schumer touched on a variety of issues important to credit unions, including tax reform. The Association’s No. 1 priority for the 2020 legislative session is protecting the credit union tax status at both the state and federal levels.

“They’ll change your tax-exempt status over my dead body,” he said, eliciting a huge applause from the New York state credit union contingency.

Additional talk focused on specific economic issues affecting credit unions, including a brief discussion on taxi medallions.

Regarding data security, Schumer agreed that there must be strong data security protections and standards in place. Of note, he agreed with attendees, saying there should be a federal law that preempts any state law, and both merchants and financial institutions will have to be involved.

He also conveyed that he understands that a state-by-state approach to data security does not work.

Schumer interacted with the attendees, asking many to identify the region of New York they are from, and the state of their local economy, with most attendees saying it was average to good.

Regarding government sponsored-enterprises, Schumer said he thought it was unlikely that housing reform would pass in the current Congress. But he agreed that credit unions and smaller lenders need access to the secondary mortgage market.

“I’ll be your guardian on that,” Schumer said.

Regarding regulatory reform, he stressed the importance of making sure regulations and the regulatory system work for credit unions.

Finally, there was brief discussion on hemp, with Schumer predicting that New York and Kentucky (Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s state) will be the two biggest hemp-growing and processing states in the country.

Schumer made it clear that he understands and agrees that financial institutions need to be able to serve the industry.

Today, during the “Hike the Hill” event, New York credit union advocates plan to focus on:

  • data security;
  • ensuring the CU tax status remains as is;
  • regulatory reform;
  • housing finance reform;
  • maturity limits;
  • telephone Consumer Protection Act; and
  • marijuana and hemp banking.

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