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Credit Unions Advocate for Members During Congressional Recess

August signals back-to-school time for many children and families. For representatives in Congress, the month is about going back to their districts to hear from their constituents.

These personal meetings are some of the most effective means of political communication. The in-district connections play a vital role in building relationships with lawmakers who make decisions that will impact credit unions and Tennesseans.

Several credit unions have and are hosting meetings this month.

“It’s important for us to meet with our leadership both locally and nationally to let them know the challenges small credit unions face every day,” said Audrey Skeen, president and CEO of Knoxville Law Enforcement Federal Credit Union, who attended a meeting with Rep. Burchett on Monday. “As well as how important it is to serve our membership’s financial needs on a daily basis and keep their best interest at heart.”

In-district meetings are a great opportunity to showcase the impact credit unions have on the livelihood of Tennesseeans and what is happening in credit unions.

“Being in contact with our legislature and congresspersons is vital for them to gauge the pulse of what is important to our members and their credit unions,” said Ron Smith, president and CEO of Enbright Credit Union.

Of the meeting topics, a major theme is the proposed Credit Card Competition Act. While interchange was not included in the National Defense Authorization Act before Congress recessed, it is still very much at play. It is expected to be a focus after the August recess.

Credit union credit card programs are at risk with the proposed legislation.

“The proposed interchange legislation will force us to raise fees we currently charge to pay for the cost of providing the products and services our members want and need,” said Skeen.

“If the Credit Card Competition Act passes, it will severely impair our card program to the point we will have to strategically weigh the options of keeping the program or selling it,” said Smith.

The Dos of Being a Credit Union Advocate

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