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With Congress in overdrive on issues related to credit unions, the trade associations and some individual credit unions are ramping up their giving to be sure that lawmakers know who their friends are. 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. –[email protected]

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