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A Call to Action: Small Credit Unions versus Wal-Mart‏

Buried deep within the Senate’s financial reform bill is an amendment that will hurt small credit unions. The “Debit Interchange Amendment” will make credit unions subsidize giant global retailers like Wal-Mart for transactions.

Our own Senator Chuck Schumer is one of the conferees who will be deliberating the reform bill in the weeks ahead. The conference is made up of select members of the House and Senate who will work out the differences between the House and Senate financial reform bills. Only the Senate bill has this interchange amendment.

Although Sen. Schumer supported the amendment initially, he could be moved to help us if he receives a strong show of opposition from credit union activists and members. So far, Schumer’s office has only received 220 contacts on interchange.

I am asking you to take two simple actions:

∙Send Sen. Schumer an e-mail using CUNA’s CapWiz tool at http://capwiz.com/cuna/home/. Pre-written text is available, and the process takes less than two minutes.

∙On Monday, phone Sen. Schumer’s office at (202) 224-6542. Ask that the “debit interchange amendment” be removed from the financial reform bill, as it will damage our ability to offer competitive, affordable card programs to members.

Senator Schumer has not yet heard from credit union members on this critical issue. By taking just a few minutes to educate the Senator, we can change that – and make sure he knows that this amendment will harm millions of credit union members.

Thank you for doing your part. Your action will enable small credit unions like Cooperative Federal to continue to provide our members with a debit card program, without having to subsidize retail giants for each and every transaction.

Ron Ehrenreich, Treasurer/CEO
Cooperative Federal-Syracuse’s community development credit union
723 Westcott Street
Syracuse, NY 13210-2542

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