35,000 e-Mails, Letters Blitz Senators on Interchange
The industry's massive lobbying effort this week to oppose Sen. Durbin's interchange amendment triggered an estimated 35,000 letters and e-mail messages to U.S. senators but that was apparently dwarfed by retailers' counter campaign.
With both CUNA and NAFCU voicing disappointment at the Senate's 64-33 vote for the amendment clearing the way for the Federal Reserve to regulate "reasonable and proportional" interchange rates on debit cards, trade messages were being issued reminding the CU audience that the "fight is not over and we clearly have more work to do."
That's the case considering the retailer push was far greater than CUs since "merchants and retailers garnered a surmounting 92,000 letters from Illinois alone," noted the California/Nevada Credit Union League in an e-mail message sent today to its credit union supporters, which include CU executives, volunteers and members.
The California/Nevada League said it counted 9,000 communications over the last week, all part of its "Connect for the Cause" campaign.
Meanwhile, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association said it generated 600 e-mails or letters to its two senators, Robert Casey and Arlen Specter, both of whom voted in favor of the amendment. Despite the negative outcome, PCUA remains proud of the grassroots effort as it tries to demonstrate the consumer confusion that will be generated if the bill is passed in its present form.
The North Carolina Credit Union League also detailed its lobbying role in the senate's consideration of the Durbin amendment with its congressional delegation, praising CUs for doing "a terrific job delivering our message at a critical moment in the legislative process."