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Washington
CU interchange MBL fight moves to home districts
WASHINGTON (3/22/11)—With Congress leaving town for a week-long district work period, the front in the fight for interchange implementation delay and member business lending advocacy will spread to congressional districts across the country. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Director of Grassroots Advocacy Elizabeth Kangas said that credit unions and their state leagues this week will be asking Congress to “stop, study and start over” on the interchange rule, as well as pushing hard for the MBL bill in individual district meetings with their members of Congress. Others will attend town hall-style meetings in the home district, she added. These district actions will seek to add to the growing list of cosponsors for legislation on both key credit union issues. CUNA has created a grassroots action alert to encourage credit union nationwide to contact their lawmakers to urge support of these vital pieces of credit union legislation. Tens of thousands of credit union advocates have reached out to their legislators within the past month on the interchange and MBL bills. Bills to delay the implementation of a cap for debit card interchange fees were introduced last week in both the House and Senate. The Senate version of the delay, which would push back implementation by two years, had a total of 13 cosponsors as of Monday. Sens. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Max Baucus (D-Mont.) were the latest to sign on to the Senate interchange delay bill, with the pair adding their names as cosponsors last Thursday. Similar House legislation, introduced by Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W. Va.) with 27 cosponsors, had reached 42 cosponsors as of yesterday. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on March 8 introduced legislation (S. 509) that would establish a maximum MBL limit of 27.5% of a credit union's total assets. The MBL bill had 18 Senate co-sponsors as of Monday. Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Al Franken (D-Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Bill Nelson (D-Fla.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) joined Udall as original co-sponsors of the bill. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), John Ensign (R-Nev.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and Debbie Ann Stabenow (D-Mich.) have signed on to support the bill following its March 8 debut. For the CUNA grassroots action alert, use the resource link.
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