WASHINGTON (5/24/10)--Credit unions should be prepared this week for a full grassroots action alert to both the entire Senate and House on interchange legislation once a conference committee on the regulatory restructuring legislation is "instructed," the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) advised its members Friday. In a preliminary message, CUNA advised all credit union leagues that the message to lawmakers would be, once the trigger is pulled on the alert, that:
* Conferees should be urged to oppose the Senate interchange amendment; and * Lawmakers should not support a financial regulatory restructuring bill that includes changes to the card payment system.
The Senate last Thursday approved S.3217, the Restoring American Financial Stability Act (RAFSA), a sweeping restructuring of the financial regulatory system. The Senate-approved bill, however, contains provisions that, in the view of credit unions, impose changes to the card payments system on interchange, which will increase costs and reduce choice for consumers. CUNA opposes the legislation as long as it contains the interchange provisions. “We will very likely be asking credit unions to mobilize their own members in this effort,” said Richard Gose, CUNA senior vice president of political affairs. “Our goal will be to show the Congress, and particularly the Senate-House conferees, how important this issue is to credit unions.” Gose added that credit unions will also likely be asked to contact their representatives and senators about the interchange issue over the Memorial Day district work period, when many lawmakers will be in their states and districts.