WASHINGTON – Credit Union of New Jersey (CUNJ) member and small business-borrower Holden Pierre-Louis was one of more than 500 small business owners and credit union advocates from across the country on Capitol Hill yesterday urging lawmakers to allow credit unions to increase member business lending (MBL) and help small businesses.
Pictured left to right: CUNJ member and small business-borrower Holden Pierre-Louis, Linda McFadden, XCEL FCU; Tom O'Shea, Aspire FCU; Paul Gentile, NJCUL; Rep. Jon Runyan; David Lodato, CUNJ; Peter Bruno, Financial Resources FCU; Beth Degnan, Affinity FCU; Lou Venezia, Bloomfield Fire & Police FCU; Chris Abeel, NJCUL.
In addition to Pierre-Louis, credit union advocates from Affinity FCU, Aspire FCU, CUNJ, Bloomfield Fire & Police FCU, Financial Resources FCU, and XCEL FCU joined NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile and Director of Government Affairs Chris Abeel for the special Hike-the-Hill.
Back row left to right: Tom O'Shea, Aspire FCU; Paul Gentile, NJCUL; Lou Venezia, Bloomfield Fire & Police FCU; David Lodato, CUNJ; Peter Bruno, Financial Resources FCU. Front row left to right: Beth Degnan, Affinity FCU; Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.; Linda McFadden, XCEL FCU; Chris Abeel, NJCUL.
The credit union and small business representatives met with staffers from the offices of Senators Robert Menendez (D) and Frank Lautenberg (D), and Representative Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11). Representatives Jon Runyan (R-3) and Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10) took time to hear directly from the credit union advocates.
Representative Bill Pascrell (center) takes time to speak with N.J. CU representatives and advocates.
In addition to the scheduled meetings, hallway encounters with Senator Frank Lautenberg and Representative Bill Pascrell (D-8) afforded the opportunity to further press the case with an undecided senator and one of New Jersey’s seven House co-sponsors.
NJCUL President/CEO Paul Gentile said it's not enough for Congress to continue to recognize credit unions as the white hats; it's time for action. "We are always well-received and our record stands on its own merits, but it's time we get our vote. This isn't a bank vs. credit union issue; this is about helping our struggling economy add jobs. It’s time for Congress to look beyond banker rhetoric and do what's right for the economy.”
A Senate vote is expected as soon as next week and the House is poised to act following Senate passage.