WASHINGTON (3/1/11)--Credit unions have faced their own share of difficulties during the recent economic crisis, but stayed loyal to the communities they serve and their membership throughout their financial troubles, Senate Banking Chair Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) said in remarks made on Monday. In a pre-taped message delivered to the Credit Union National Association's 2011 Governmental Affairs Conference, Johnson said that credit unions are an essential part of the economy, and added that special care was taken to ensure that credit unions were treated fairly as the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory package was developed last year. Johnson pledged to continue to monitor Dodd-Frank's impact on credit unions as portions of the legislation continue to be implemented. Johnson closed by saying that he has enjoyed working with credit unions, and encouraged credit unions to continue to inform him on how he can help them fulfill their mission. In related news, Johnson and his colleague Sen. Thad Cochran will soon introduce a Senate resolution that would name 2011 as the international year of cooperatives.