Congressional CU Champion Kanjorski Gets Consumer Award
WASHINGTON – Former U.S. Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a longtime congressional champion for credit unions, is scheduled to receive an award Wednesday from the Consumer Federation of America for his lifetime service to consumers.
Kanjorski, who served 26 years in the House until his defeat last year, will receive the Philip Hart Public Service Award.
As a leader in the House Financial Services Committee, Kanjorski made exceptional contributions to financial services reforms. In the late 1990s, the Pennsylvania Democrat spearheaded successful efforts to pass legislation ensuring greater consumer access to credit unions, known as HR 1151, the CU Membership Access Act. He also introduced almost every major credit union bill over the past 15 years, including recent bills creating the corporate credit union stabilization fund and efforts to raise the member business loan limit at credit unions.
Following the Enron and WorldCom scandals, Kanjorski led House investor protection efforts that culminated in passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and, since then, he also fought to preserve these reforms.
In 2003, he helped persuade Congress to expand fair credit reporting protections for consumers. Before and during the recent financial crisis, he advocated predatory lending reforms that were incorporated in the Dodd-Frank Act. And during the same period, he advanced proposals to reform credit rating agencies and strengthen the Securities and Exchange Commission that were also included in this legislation.
Credit unions were instrumental in creating the Consumer Federation and always hold three seats on its board, for a representative from CUNA, NAFCU and CUNA Mutual Group.