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Feb. 25: The U.S. Supreme Court rules to limit federal credit union membership expansion.
      The American Bankers Association says it will ask the lower court to restore the injunction issued last year that would stop credit unions from adding new groups or new members from existing groups outside of core fields of membership.

Feb. 26: There's a surge in congressional support for the Credit Union Membership Access Act, H.R. 1151: Co-sponsorship stands at 162 representatives, from 138 the day of the Supreme Court decision.

March 11: Rose Bartolomucci, president/CEO of Kent (Ohio) Credit Union, testifies at a House Banking Committee field-of-membership (FOM) hearing: "The Supreme Court ruling--if not reversed by Congress--spells the demise for certain federal credit unions, denial for millions of American consumers to credit union services, and a major restructuring of the credit union system for years to come."

March 13: Banks record their sixth consecutive yearly record for earnings--earning $59.2 billion in 1997.

March 24: The Credit Union National Association, National Association of Federal Credit Unions, and three national banking and savings and loan trade groups request the court delay implementing the Supreme Court FOM decision, pending congressional action.

March 26: During the first of two Senate Banking Committee FOM hearings, Committee Chairman Alfonse D'Amato, R-N.Y., promises Congress will remedy the credit union FOM situation.

March 27: The House Banking Committee unanimously approves H.R. 1151 with some minor amendments.

April 1: H.R. 1151, now with 207 co-sponsors, goes to the House for a full vote. The House overwhelmingly passes the Credit Union Membership Access Act, 411-8.

April 2: Peggy Lents, CEO of Azalea City Credit Union, Mobile, Ala., testifies at the second Senate Banking Committee hearing: "Credit unions are not asking for new powers. We are asking for the legislative confirmation of a reasonable agency interpretation that has benefitted millions of American consumers since the multiple-group policy was adopted in 1982."
      At the end of the hearing, Sen. D'Amato vows to put credit union legislation on the fast track, hoping the committee will mark up a bill the first week in May, with a possible bill by the end of May.

April 9: The court decides federal credit unions can sign up new members from existing select employee groups at least through May 26 (based on the March 24 request, above).

      Send your senator a message supporting consumer choice to join a credit union.

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