Looking back three years ago finds both bank and credit union PAC contributions soaring. The actual 1998 numbers through April 1998 for the CU PACs totaled $242,786, including $203,875 from CULAC, $18,029 from NAFCUPAC (through March only) and $20,882 from CCULPAC. “To an extent, this is a chicken-and-egg thing,” said CUNA Vice President for Legislative Affairs John McKechnie. “Do you give money to somebody because they’re a friend; or are they a friend because you give them money? You could chase that argument forever, and never come up with a satisfactory answer.” “But I would say that the idea that we would be able to weigh in at the last minute after completely failing with somebody and persuade them by dropping a thousand dollar check into their lap…that just doesn’t happen.” Also in that issue, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would execute a major overhaul of the Bankruptcy Code – the same code that allowed 1.35 million Americans to file for bankruptcy that year. The House passed H.R. 3150, the Bankruptcy Reform Act of 1998, by a 306-118 margin. The bill’s main ingredient was a needs-based system that would force those with the monetary means to repay a portion of their bills under Chapter 13-the repayment form of bankruptcy- instead of Chapter 7, where all debt is wiped away.

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