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CUNA: It's Time for Full-court Press in Senate   (Misc News: April 3, 2012)

CUNA is asking credit union supporters to pull out all the stops as the U.S. Senate nears its historic vote to expand member business lending.

In a Monday conference call with league communicators and other credit union supporters, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney asked credit unions to match last year’s wild effort to overturn the Durbin amendment on interchange. In that battle, outside observers said they had not seen such a battle on Capitol Hill in decades.

Cheney added that the MBL battle is far more important than just raising the MBL cap. He said winning this battle will make it easier for credit unions to protect their tax exemption and will raise the level of respect credit unions have in Washington.

“The stakes are very high for us,” Cheney said.

But Cheney said CUNA cannot win the battle on its own. As was the case during the battle over interchange, local credit unions and the state leagues have to engage their elected officials to win the upcoming vote in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised a vote by the full Senate on MBL and has made procedural moves to bring the measure to the Senate floor. The Senate returns from recess on April 16 and CUNA officials believe a vote could come soon after the senators return.

In the meantime, Cheney encouraged credit unions to reach out to elected officials through multiple channels. He suggested calling senators’ offices, setting up meetings while they are back in their home states, attending town hall meetings or reaching out to them on their Facebook pages.

In Michigan, both senators, Lansing Democrat Debbie Stabenow and Detroit Democrat Carl Levin, have signed on as co-sponsors of the MBL bill. Cheney said credit union supporters can still reach out to them, thank them for their co-sponsorship and encourage them to follow through and vote for the bill.

Come back regularly to the MCUL homepage for updates on MBL in the next two weeks leading up to the Senate vote.

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