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CUNA CUs gather ahead of interchange Hill visits
WASHINGTON (6/9/10)—Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica last night welcomed hundreds of credit union advocates, who have come here in planes, trains, buses and cars to fight possible statutory interchange controls, by saying, “You are doing what is right for credit unions. You are doing what is right for consumers. You are doing what is right for the country.”
Click to view larger imageCUNA and league leaders take some time to relax at the CUNA reception before the Wednesday Hike the Hill on interchange. (From Left): CUNA President/ CEO Dan Mica, CUNA Chairman Harriet May (foreground), New Jersey League President Paul Gentile, and Connecticut League President Tony Emerson. (CUNA Photo)
CUNA hosted a briefing and reception for some 800 credit union and state league activists who are bringing the credit union message--opposing government controls on interchange fees-- to every member of the U.S. Congress this week. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) also welcomed the credit unions crowd, as did newly seated CUNA Chairman Harriet May. Chaffetz, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the interchange provisions in the Senate-approved version of a financial regulatory reform package are “absolutely, totally wrong.” “The consequences will be that it will hurt the people you are trying most to help,” Chaffetz said, reflecting CUNA’s argument that the interchange provisions will hurt ordinary Americans who have a need of affordable financial services. May told the crowd she was “absolutely amazed” and “thrilled” by the turn out of credit union grassroots power. “It is so incredibly important what we are facing right now,” she said, and added, “It is your job this week to stand up for credit unions and what credit unions stand for—that members get financial services at a reasonable price.” The focus of this week’s flood of Capitol Hill visits, which come just before the House and Senate conferees are set to hash out a compromise version of financial regulatory reform, will be a provision that would require the federal reserve to intervene in the setting of interchange fees. CUNA Senior Vice President John Magill, also speaking to the credit union crowd, said, “The message to lawmakers is simple: Remove the Senate interchange amendment.” Magill has noted that CUNA, credit unions and state leagues will "reach every member of Congress" during the Hike. Also, nearly 280,000 separate contacts have been made by credit union backers nationwide in the last two weeks urging their legislators to remove the interchange legislation from the final version of regulatory reform.


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