CUNA, Leagues Continue to Urge Credit Unions to Share Special Government-Shutdown Assistance; Six NJ CUs Have Reported Assistance

As the partial government shutdown enters its second month, CUNA and the state leagues continue to encourage credit unions to share how their institution is supporting members affected by the partial government shutdown, the longest in history and now headed into its second month. Here in New Jersey six credit unions have shared what they’re doing to help members, Aspire FCU, Essex County Teachers FCU, Federal Employees (Newark) FCU, Fort Dix FCU, South Jersey FCU, and XCEL FCU. Alloya Corporate FCU is also offering special loans to credit unions providing assistance to impacted federal workers.

Congress and the administration remain at odds over a solution to the lapse in funding that has shuttered nine federal departments and various agencies. President Donald Trump continues to press for funding to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Democratic-controlled House has pursued piecemeal and short-term funding strategies in an attempt to reopen the government while allowing conversations on issues such as border security to continue, but the Republican-controlled Senate has refused to take up any legislation that doesn't have the support of the president.

The Senate is expected to hold two funding votes today, one that would fund the departments for the rest of the fiscal year and also includes border wall funding and an extension of protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and another that would fund the departments through February 8 and includes disaster relief money. Both options would need 60 votes to advance. It is unclear that either would reach that threshold.

The president has signed legislation that would give federal workers back pay once the shutdown ends.

In the meantime, an estimated 800,000 federal employees and their families are facing financial uncertainty because they aren’t being paid during the shutdown and credit unions across the nation are assisting them with a variety of special programs.

A state by state breakdown of how credit unions across the country are assisting their members impacted by the shutdown is available on CUNA’s Shutdown Assistance Web page. 

New Jersey credit unions willing to share their story of providing assistance to federal employees currently not working due to the federal government shutdown, should contact NJCUL Vice President of Corporate and Governmental Affairs, Chris Abeel, at cabeel@njcul.org or 1-800-792-8861 ext. 127.

Credit union efforts began shortly after government funding lapsed in December. These efforts have caught the attention of the media, including CNBC and Vox, and lawmakers, showcasing the credit union philosophy of putting people before profits.

Congressional leaders from across the nation have also shared information about credit union efforts or encouraged federal workers in their states to check out the resources provided by credit unions, and Kevin Hassett, President Trump’s chief economic adviser, said on Fox Business Network’s After the Bell last week that people “should contact their supervisors in order to help them with the federal credit unions making low-interest loans and so on.”