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The number of credit union executives from across the country that turned out on Capitol Hill for the interchange battle was very impressive, especially on such short notice and when travel budgets have been practically bled dry. More than 1,000 made the trek on CUNA’s side hailing from 30 states, while NAFCU called their contacts “substantial.” This turnout followed CUNA’s fly-in in December, attracting 600 or so credit union executives to D.C. to push for member business lending legislation. Credit unions are demonstrating their understanding of the power Washington has over them.

But this time the fight wasn’t about potential powers and income. This trip was about protecting something credit unions already have, which has been estimated around $2 billion in debit interchange income annually for credit unions in aggregate. Plus, an unknown amount of income is on the table through the provision allowing discriminatory card treatment by merchants.

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