Senate Conscience Of CUs Won't RunAgain

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BALTIMORE - (03/14/05) -- Sen. Paul Sarbanes, the rankingDemocrat on the Senate Banking Committee and the self-styledconscience of credit unions, announced Friday he won't seekreelection in 2006 when his fifth term expires. "Senator Sarbaneswas a credit union friend," said John McKechnie, chief lobbyist forCUNA. "His intellect and his way of approaching issues always addedsomething to the legislative process." Sarbanes made his mark onthe credit union movement first by helping manage HR 1151, the CUMembership Access Act of 1998, through the Senate, then as aconstant reminder during his brief two-year term as chairman of thebanking committee for credit unions to stick to their historicalmission of serving the underserved. Sarbanes even directed a studyby the U.S. Government Accountability to determine whether creditunions were continuing to do so. "He was always trying to call onthe credit union movement to do more for people of modest means,and I salute him for that," McKechnie told The Credit UnionJournal. One of the most liberal members of the Senate, Sarbaneswas reported to have tired of being in the Senate minority, asDemocrats are now outnumbered by Republicans by 55-to-44(with oneIndependent), and have little chance of regaining the majority anytime soon.

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