More than 30 Wisconsin Activists - including several first time attendees - traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with lawmakers as part of The League's annual Hike the Hill event.
Nearly every member of Wisconsin's Congressional Delegation came to Credit Union House, blocks from the U.S. Capitol, to meet their constituents and Activists from across the state.
Among other topics, the group advocated for:
- Regulatory relief, including changes to the structure and authority of the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection (BCFP - also referred to as CFPB),
- Increased data security requirements and accountability for merchants to help Stop the Data Breaches, and
- preservation of credit unions' tax status - by extending a thank you to the delegation for their continued support.
Hike highlights included:
Visits with Wisconsin's Senators
Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-Madison, front left center, tan blazer), a champion of credit union issues, started the meeting by playing a voicemail from her credit union that notified her of potential fraud on her card. She discussed the importance of protecting consumers through data security. In light of regulatory reform efforts, she recognized credit unions weren't the bad actors in the financial crisis.
Senator Johnson (R-Oshkosh, center, blue shirt, red tie) shared his thoughts regulatory burdens and protecting consumers. He acknowledged that financial institutions are most at risk for cybersecurity breaches. He also noted credit unions are over-regulated and supports efforts to provide regulatory relief.
Visits with Wisconsin's Representatives
1st Congressional District
Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Janesville, not pictured) returned to the Credit Union House for one last time prior to his retirement from office – a place he noted that he has visited many times since first elected to office to meet his credit union constituents. He stressed the importance of having Activists come to events in D.C., like Hike the Hill, to share stories of the credit union difference. Then he invited the group to check out the scenery from the Speakers' balcony (above).
2nd Congressional District
Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Town of Vermont, aqua tie) was unable to make it to this year's Hike the Hill event, but Activists were able to catch him on Capitol Hill and grab a quick photo. He represents the headquarters of CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, WOCCU and Filene Research Institute.
3rd Congressional District
Rep. Ron Kind (D-La Crosse, standing) received hearty thanks from Activists for his support of S. 2155, which included loans for 1-4 unit properties as mortgage loans, making them easier for credit unions to provide to members. The Congressman, a proud credit union member himself, said he sees what credit unions are doing in their communities. He stressed that credit unions need to continue to tell their stories - that REAL Solutions® stories really do make a difference.
4th Congressional District
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-Milwaukee, standing), who once helped found a credit union, shared her dedication to allowing credit unions to serve more members and communities. She said Activists should be the forefront of the Movement.
5th Congressional District
Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner (fourth from right) reaffirmed his support for the protection of credit unions' tax status, saying the banks are a "stuck record" when attacking credit unions on taxation.
6th Congressional District
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Glenbeulah, center, red tie) received Activists' thanks for approaching leadership to call a floor vote on S. 2155 - federal regulatory reform that in part makes it easier for credit unions to offer loans for 1-4 unit properties.
7th Congressional District
Congressman Sean Duffy (R-Wausau, center, blue shirt) is a key legislator for credit unions nationwide, as Chairman of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance. Activists asked for the Congressman's support to establish a commission for the BCFP/CFPB instead of a sole director and stronger data security.
8th Congressional District
Congressman Mike Gallgher (R-Green Bay, standing) reaffirmed his support on credit unions' tax status as well as a BCFP/CFPB commission. He also stressed that although there has been progress on regulatory reform, he wants to hear from members on ways he can continue to be helpful.
Dialog with federal regulators
The Wisconsin and Minnesota leagues held a joint meeting with the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA discussed exam and data modernization efforts, current litigation efforts against credit unions (specifically ADA) efforts with the BCFP/CFPB and alternative capital. Pictured above (L to R): Cherie Freed, Region 5 Director; Kelly Lay, Business Innovations DIrector; Mike Radway, Senior Policy Advisor; Larry Fazio, Director - Office of Examinations and Insurance; Mike McKenna, General Counsel - Office of General Counsel.
Thank You, Sponsors!
Special thanks to this year's sponsors, whose generosity made this event possible:
See the Hike photo album on the League's Facebook page