Stephanie Young, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) delivered remarks this morning at the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference general session, where he was introduced by John Bratsakis, the President and CEO of the Maryland and DC Credit Union Association. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, John. I am always glad to be here with you and with the men and women behind America’s credit unions. In Maryland, you continue to make a real and important difference for families and small businesses, and I thank you for the work you continue to do. But as much as we in Maryland like to think that John is one of a kind, here in this room are thousands of dedicated individuals who want to make sure that Americans from coast to coast can benefit from membership in a credit union.
“CUNA continues to do an outstanding job explaining the benefits credit unions provide to their members and to entire communities. Your work has not been easy these past few years. Dodd-Frank and the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau forced many institutions to adapt to a new regulatory environment that seeks to prevent another crisis like the one that nearly brought down our financial system in 2008. In promulgating new rules, federal agencies have – in many cases – examined how credit unions were able to emerge from the financial crisis relatively unscathed and apply those lessons to the broader banking sector.
“More and more Americans are realizing the benefits of joining a credit union. Not only do your institutions offer security and peace of mind, they play an important community role, helping to launch small businesses, provide home loans and car loans, and offer a range of financial products to members that help them reach for the opportunities that build a strong and growing middle class.
“House Democrats have been intently focused on these same opportunities – opportunities that provide the foundation for our American dream. That’s why we introduced our Make It In America plan to invest in manufacturing and job creation, and it is why we are pushing congress to raise the minimum wage so that more workers can afford to save and build for the future, many of them as new credit union members. It’s also the reason why I have continued to call for Democrats and Republicans to work together to achieve sustainable fiscal outcomes when negotiating our budgets.
“The best way to stimulate economic growth, I believe, is to restore certainty to the private sector through predictable tax and budget policies from Congress. Keeping our economy competitive will require a tax code that encourages companies to invest here and create jobs in our communities.
“Chairman Dave Camp of the Ways and Means Committee has now released his legislative blueprint for tax reform. Mr. Camp’s legislation does not incorporate Democratic input. Ultimately tax reform must be done in a bipartisan way, address revenues, and contribute to achieving a sustainable fiscal future. If Mr. Camp’s effort helps move the conversation forward in a way that leads to bipartisan compromise, then it may be a positive step.
“Ways and Means Ranking Member Sandy Levin and committee Democrats are continuing to reach out to their Republican counterparts in order to find where common ground may exist. I hope they find it.
“Clarity on a path forward for tax reform would go a long way toward securing a broader agreement on deficits that has so far proven elusive. If we can reform our tax code in a bipartisan way, it will help boost our economic competitiveness and stimulate job growth that will benefit millions of American families and small businesses.
“That’s the message I bring to you today, and which I hope you will convey to members of the House and Senate this week while you are here in Washington. Congress needs to hear your voice in this debate. I am glad to see that you remain deeply engaged in the policymaking process, and I know that your members are well served by your advocacy.
“Thank you for all you do to help strengthen our communities and grow our middle class. With your help, we can expand opportunities for more of our people to pursue the American dream, and I look forward to continuing our work together in 2014 and for years to come.”