First, the news of the nastiness and greed (you didn't think anything that happened in this Congress could ever be done for reasons of decency or integrity, did you?).
For nearly twenty years, the Republican leaders have desperately tried to produce another S&L disaster by removing the 50 year old barriers between banks, brokerage houses and insurance companies. With massive resistance even from within their own party, they have repeatedly failed to get the measure out of committee and to the floor for a vote. Their schemes to push the legislation have nearly always included adding it to respectable bills as an amendment hoping to slide it through without notice. In fact, this Congress tried desperately to tie the credit union legislation to their failing efforts which prompted Rep. John LaFalce (Dem. NY) to state that this attempt was like "buying the credit unions a ticket on the Titanic".
Now for the good news. After another failure to push the banking industry's nonsense through, they finally removed the measure to assist credit unions for a separate vote which appears poised to easily sail through both houses of Congress. In fact, the House stands to vote for the bill by at least 400 out of 435 votes. With that sort of positive pressure from the House, the Senate may well give it a unanimous "Yes" vote.
Scott Sutherland, spokesman for the Credit Union National Association, happily proclaimed "This will be an excellent opportunity for members of Congress to clear away this contentious issue before they go home for the spring break". Indeed, the vote will take place just hours before they leave for that two week break.
Basically, what we have learned from this issue is that this Congress will continue to try to pass legislation demanded by their owners by attempting to attach them to bills which actually benefit the average American. Normally, this dooms the decent bills to certain defeat simply because there are still just enough ethical representatives to keep the nasty, self serving legislation off the books even at the expense of laws the average American truly needs. This time, though, even the Republicans could recognize the demand for easing the restrictions on credit unions even if it meant their master's pet legislation will have to wait for a more despicable Congress in order to ensure its passage.
In the next few days we will learn the eventual outcome of this important legislation and see if this Congress can move it to the President's desk for approval. Should that come to pass, I would highly recommend that everyone investigate if they are eligible for a credit union account and to move themselves into the nearest branch, if possible. Why would anyone allow a bank to charge them fees when credit unions pay you interest on both your checking as well as your savings accounts? Why would you pay excessive interest rates on loans of any type when you will pay far less for all types of loans at your credit union? Why would anyone allow the stockholders of some huge conglomerate to profit from your income when your income can actually generate further income through interest paid?
Finally, who wants to even do business with a for profit corporation when they can share in the ownership of their local credit union, an ownership which returns whatever profits may be earned back to the members, themselves?
Credit unions are the best examples of where Americans should be moving towards the future. A business owned by its own customers will always produce the best products and services at the lowest costs and will work the hardest to give the very best customer service. Without the executives of any business being forced into a situation of having to please stockholders (whose only interest from the business is maximum profits through minimal services), the customers will always receive the better service. Whenever the customers and the owners are one and the same, the customer's satisfaction is always paramount. The American consumer wins with credit unions, which indicates how hated they will remain in Corporate America's board rooms.
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