CUNA's political action committee, the Credit Union Legislative Action Council has contributed $962,845 to federal candidates and committees this year, including $73,587 in October, according to the group's latest Federal Election Committee report. It raised $106,000 last month and has raised $1.1 million this year. It had $796,085 in its coffers as of Oct. 31.
CULAC's largesse resulted in its being ranked the 19th largest PAC donor this year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a research and advocacy groups. There are approximately 3,800 federal PACs. The PAC of the American Bankers Association, the sixth biggest donor, has given $1.5 million this year.
Several of the lawmakers to whom CULAC gave money have been quite helpful to credit unions recently.
Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.), who received $1,000 in October and $8,000 since 2005, released a regulatory restructuring plan earlier this month that kept the NCUA as an independent agency.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), who received $2,500 from CULAC in October and $5,000 this year, sponsored the amendment passed by the House Financial Services Committee to exempt institutions with assets of $50 billion in assets-including all credit unions-from having to pay into the Stabilization Resolution Fund.
Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.), who received $1,000 from CULAC in October, was the main House sponsor of a bill recently signed into law that gives credit unions and other financial institutions more flexibility on providing notification to consumers about non-credit card accounts. It provided a fix to the Credit Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which took effect on Aug. 21 and requires statements on open-end accounts be delivered 21 days before they are due.
CULAC also gave $5,000 the PACs run by the number two members of the Democratic and Republican leadership in the House-Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.).
NAFCU's PAC-the National Association of Federal Credit Unions Political Action Committee-has given $97,022 to federal candidates and committees this year, including $3,000 in October. It raised $156,178 in October, including $74,267 last month.
House Small Business Committee Chairman Nydia Velasquez, (D-N.Y.), who received $1,000 from NAFCU's PAC in October and $2,000 this year, has been the key backer of legislation recently passed the House to expand small business lending opportunities. The PAC also gave $1,000 to Reps. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) and Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.), who are on the Financial Services Committee.