Dealing the banking industry a heavy political blow, House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that he will co-sponsor legislation to let credit unions accept more members.

"The reason I am doing this is because I believe in decentralization, I believe in community-level activism, I believe in local folks helping local folks," the Georgia Republican told the Credit Union National Association's governmental affairs conference. Four thousand stunned attendees responded with three standing ovations and "Newt, Newt" chants.

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