WASHINGTON - New Jersey credit union advocates on Tuesday joined NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile and Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel for a day-long series of meetings on Capitol Hill to bring the job creation message to targeted members of New Jersey's Congressional delegation.
The day started with an early departure from Hightstown for late morning meetings in the offices of Senators Menendez and Lautenberg. Senator Menendez is a member of the Senate Banking Committee, a key weigh station for MBL reform.
Pictured from left to right: NJCUL Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel; NJ CU PLAN member Beth Degnan, AVP External Affairs, Affinity FCU; Congressman Bill Pascrell; NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile; NJ CU PLAN member Gary Chizmadia, Credit Union of NJ volunteer; and Al Feigenbaum, CEO, Advanced Financial FCU.
Following a quick lunch in the Dirksen Senate Office Building, the group headed across Capitol Hill for meetings in the offices of House members who are potential co-sponsors of MBL reform in the House. The group had the opportunity to make their case personally to Representatives Donald Payne (D-10) and Bill Pascrell (D-8). They also met with the legislative counsel to Representative Frank LoBiondo (R-2), who was called away at the last minute for a floor vote, and Representative Albio Sires' (D-13) chief of staff.
It was a very successful day according to NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile. "Our goal was to recruit more co-sponsors and I believe we'll see additional New Jersey names on the bill in weeks ahead.
Pictured from left to right: NJCUL Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel; Al Feigenbaum, CEO, Advanced Financial FCU; NJ CU PLAN member Beth Degnan, AVP External Affairs, Affinity FCU; Congressman Don Payne; NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile; and NJ CU PLAN member Gary Chizmadia, Credit Union of NJ volunteer.
"Letters and emails are important, but nothing beats face-to-face advocacy," he said. "I want to thank those who took time to join us for this extremely important component of our multi-faceted MBL grassroots campaign."
This week saw tangible results of those meetings when Congressman Donald Payne, after meeting with New Jersey credit union advocates during the Hike-the-Hill, signed-on to the House version (H.R. 1418) of the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. The addition of Payne brings the total of signed-on House members to 101.
The legislation hit the milestone of 100 House members signed-on with the addition Tuesday of seven co-sponsors. Democrats Ed Perlmutter of Colorado, Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Alcee Hastings of Florida, Marcia Fudge of Ohio, Paul Tonko of New York, Susan Davis of California and Howard Berman of California all signed onto H.R. 1418, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, on Tuesday.
Congressman Payne's name pushes the total over the 100 mark to 101.