The bipartisan Congressional Cooperative Business Caucus has been formally recognised by the US House of Representatives’ committee on house administration.
Co-chaired by Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI), the caucus aims to raise awareness of the co-operative business model and promote it before Congress and the US administration.
“We are thrilled that this historic caucus dedicated to advancing the role of co-operatives in the nation’s economy has been continued in the new Congress,” said Judy Ziewacz , president of NCBA CLUSA. the umbrella organisation for the country’s co-ops
“We encourage lawmakers to recognise the critical role co-ops play in their districts by joining this bipartisan caucus.”
NCBA CLUSA helped to establish the caucus last year, and it has already made progress for the co-op model.
Last May, in a bid to end a decades-long absence of federally reported data on co-ops, it asked the Department of Commerce to reinstate a question recognising co-ops on the 2017 Economic Census.
The issue has undergone feasability studies and field tests and is now poised for approval by the Office of Business and Management.
Rep. Royce said he looks forward to using his role as caucus co-chair to continue highlighting the benefits of co-op.
“Co-operative businesses provide valuable goods and services, build wealth in local communities and offer their members a piece of their success,” he said.
Rep. Royce is a longtime advocate of co-ops—from California’s credit unions and mutual insurers to Africa’s rural electric co-ops.
His co chair Rep. Pocan represents Wisconsin’s Dane Country, which is home to 80 co-ops – the highest number of co-ops per capita of any US county.
“I’m proud that my district is home to thriving co-operatives, from Willy Street Food Co-op to UW Credit Union,” he said. “I look forward to continue working with Rep. Royce to promote greater awareness of the cooperative business model and to advocate on federal policy issues unique to the co-op community.”