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Since a D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last year that the Federal Credit Union Act bars federal credit unions from expanding their memberships beyond their original charters, 63 million workers in businesses too small to have their own credit unions have been denied access to credit unions. The case now is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the meantime, lawmakers viewing the ruling as anticonsumer responded: Last March, Reps. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio, and Paul Kanjorski D-Pa., and 18 co-sponsors introduced the Credit Union Membership Access Act, H.R. 1151, which once again offers consumers the right to choose credit unions. Since then, 125 lawmakers--both republicans and democrats from coast to coast--have signed on as sponsors. Here's why.

  • "I hope everyone will recognize that this legislation is not pro-credit union or antibank. It's pro-consumer and pro-competition."
    Rep. Steven LaTourette, R-Ohio.
  • "The Credit Union Membership Access Act is not an antibanking industry bill, but simply gives more Americans the opportunity to choose a credit union for their financial services. This bill will help credit unions remain a viable financial service to the millions of Americans who depend on them."
    Rep. George Brown, D-Calif.
  • "As banks become larger, wealthier, and are earning record profits, the challenges confronting nonprofit, member-oriented credit unions are greater than ever. This is the classic 'David vs. Goliath' situation that will determine whether millions of Americans can continue to choose cooperative credit unions for their financial services."
    Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio
  • "I'm not against banks--I'm for consumers. Credit unions stand up for their member-owners. They're volunteer-driven, they're not for profit, and they hold our money in trust."
    Rep. Zach Wamp, R-Tenn.
  • "Whether you simply prefer the personalized, individual service, or if a credit union has turned your dream of owning a home into a reality, these community-based organizations [credit unions] are the backbone of small, rural, and poor communities."
    Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss.
  • "Credit unions give working folks access to efficient, convenient, low-cost financial services."
    Rep. Jay Kim, R-Calif.
  • "I really do believe with credit union membership, 'It's a Wonderful Life.' Credit unions are like real-life angels for real-life families."
    Rep. Lynn Rivers, D-Mich.

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