The Texas Credit Union League is rolling out this week a series of "Congressional Thank You Ads" recognizing lawmakers who support the industry position on a range of issues from business lending to card interchange.
The ads are tailored specifically to individual CU newsletters running this fall and dovetail into CUNA's national advocacy campaign to carefully target key Congressmen during the election season.
The ads, said the league, are part of an effort "to share information with millions of Texas credit union members about key issues that could affect them."
"We wanted a way to inform members of where their representatives stood during the most recent legislative session in Washington," said James Phelps, political and grassroots director.
Over the past several months, he said, "our credit unions engaged in a level of grassroots advocacy not seen since 1998 in the battle for H.R. 1151. Throughout the process, many of Texas' congressional representatives openly and publicly supported credit union positions, in the battle to preserve interchange and lift the cap on member business lending."
The ads, he said, are a way to "to share that information with those most impacted by the changes to credit union members."
The ads indicate whether Texas Congressional delegation members supported CUs on interchange by publicly signing onto a critical "Dear Colleague" letter to Senate-House conferees. Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-Texas) was an original interchange letter sponsor, and more than half the Texas Congressional delegation from both parties signed the letter within a week of being asked, Phelps noted.
The ads also list whether a Congressman publicly sponsored MBL to lift the cap. In all, five Texas Democrats (Gene Green, Sheila Jackson-Lee, Eddie Bernice-Johnson, Solomon Ortiz and Ciro Rodriguez) and three Texas Republicans (John Culberson, Ron Paul and Ted Poe) co-sponsored legislation that, once passed, "would help put more than $570 million in stimulus into the Texas economy for small businesses and create thousands of Texas jobs, at no taxpayer cost," the league said.
Divided by region, the legislative communication ads to CU members were developed "to ensure compliance with federal law," the league concluded.