Foe-Turned-CU Friend Vies To HeadFinancial Services Committee
WASHINGTON - (07/05/06) With just three monthsremaining on the legislative calendar, Alabama Congressman SpencerBachus, a one-time credit union opponent turned supporter, hasemerged as one of two favorites to chair the House FinancialServices Committee in the next Congress. Bachus, one of just sixHouse members to vote against HR 1151, the 1998 landmark CUMembership Access Act, has been keenly courted by the credit unionlobby since then, and has turned out to be a strong defender ofcredit unions during the last four years while he has chaired theFinancial Services Subcommittee on Financial Institutions. But justas importantly in the race to chair the full committee is the factthat Bachus leadership PAC, known as Growth and ProsperityPAC, has contributed more than $600,000 to fellow candidates,building key support among the Republican caucus. Thatstwice the amount contributed to fellow candidates by Bachusmain rival, Louisiana Congressman Richard Baker, whose BackAmericas Conservatives PAC, of BacPac, has contributed about$300,000 to fellow Republicans. CUNA has contributed $10,000 toeach of the leadership PACs. One of the two lawmakers are widelyexpected to succeed Ohios Michael Oxley, who is retiringfrom Congress, as the next committee chair. The support of theFinancial Services Committee Chairman will be critical for creditunions legislative priorities, including the CU RegulatoryImprovements Act, known as CURIA.