WASHINGTON (8/8/08)--"With the memories of that time still so vivid, it hardly seems that a decade has gone by since H.R. 1151 was signed into law,” said Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica. The credit union leader was reflecting on the 10th anniversary of the signing of the bill, officially titled The Credit Union Membership Access Act. It granted credit unions power to serve multiple groups. “We learned so much during that historic struggle to pass the bill-- the value of grassroots, the importance of a permanent presence on Capitol Hill, the urgency of political action,” said Mica. “We learned that the Movement wasn't nearly as ready as any of us thought to deal with a significant federal legislative issue,” he added. “Since then, we have built on those lessons--with Credit Union House, our Hike the Hill programs, and the growth of our political programs, and much more.” Mica witnessed President Bill Clinton sign H.R. 1151 into law on Aug. 7, 1998. Also present in the Oval Office were the bill’s chief sponsors, Pennsylvania Democrat Congressman Paul Kanjorski and Ohio Republican Steve LaTourette. Bankers claimed that NCUA’s multiple groups field of membership policy violated the common bond of the Federal Credit Union Act. After the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against credit unions in February 1998, credit unions worked hard to gain sponsors for H.R. 1151. “The task 10 years ago was to enact a bill to ensure credit unions survive,” said Mica. “Now, our challenge is to apply what we have developed since then to ensure credit unions thrive and grow."