With the Senate expected to start debating the credit union bill on Thursday or Friday, industry groups on both sides of the legislation plan a final lobbying tour de force this week.
Credit Union National Association president Daniel A. Mica last week urged members nationwide to descend on Capitol Hill on Tuesday and rally for the bill, which would ease membership limits on the nonprofit financial institutions.
"The larger the delegation we can put on the Capitol steps, the more likely we are to see this bill passed quickly and without hostile amendments," Mr. Mica said in an official statement, noting that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Alfonse M. D'Amato had recommended that credit union groups make a strong showing.
The American Bankers Association and the Independent Bankers Association of America are flying in a limited number of bankers, trade group officials said. The banking groups will rely more heavily on newspaper ads and members' use of phone and e-mail hot lines to contact senators. The message from bankers will be simple: Oppose the bill or at least support amendments that would remove community reinvestment requirements for small banks and further restrict business lending by credit unions.
If credit unions win, lawmakers will be demanding a payback.
Since February, Credit Union National Association leaders have urged their members to ratchet up campaign donations. The group said its political action committee will raise a record $1 million for the 1997-98 election cycle.
But the pressure to raise funds has only increased since the House and Senate Banking committees overwhelmingly voted in favor of the credit union bill.
"Because of our success on the Hill and all the people who voted for our bill, we are having a lot of demand for PAC money," Susan Newton, CUNA's senior vice president for state league relations, said in a recent statement to members.
The group has hired Richard A. Gose, an American Insurance Association lobbying strategist and former fund-raiser for the home building industry, to run its PAC. He starts July 20.
Paul L. Sachtleben retired this month as chief financial officer of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. The agency has named Frederick S. Selby, a deputy director for finance, as the acting CFO.
Mr. Sachtleben, 50, joined the FDIC as an examiner in 1969 and has held management posts in supervision, resolutions, and compliance in addition to being the first CFO of the Resolution Trust Corp. He plans on working as a part-time banking consultant and is pursuing an assignment to advise the Bulgarian government on improvements to its banking supervision system.