WASHINGTON (4/3/08)--Credit unions received a welcome message from a key leader in Congress Wednesday regarding the U.S. Treasury Department's proposal for financial institution regulatory restructuring: In a paraphrase, Congress backs credit unions. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) introduced Credit Union National Association (CUNA) witness Harriet May at Wednesday's hearing on the Internet Gambling law. (See related News Now story, "CUNA: Internet gambling law's burdens need Hill's action.") May is CEO of GECU, El Paso, Tex., and a CUNA board member. Frank then said to May, "Please tell my good friend and former colleague Mr. Mica not to worry about the Treasury proposal to eliminate credit unions. We would never do that. So please tell him not to worry about that." Frank's comments came the same day an editorial in The Hillnewspaper took note of CUNA President Dan Mica’s concern that the Paulson plan would eliminate the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and force consumers to pay more for less. “These are serious criticisms that Congress should meet with equal seriousness,” the editorial asserted. CUNA’s Mica received nationwide press exposure when he fired off the first question at Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's briefing Monday on the agency's regulatory restructuring blueprint. Mica explained to Paulson that the Treasury proposal could result in the demise of credit unions as they function today. Paulson explained details in the 212-page report and the thinking behind its development. A summary of the report was leaked to the media during the weekend.