HR 1151: 20 years later

Massive advocacy effort made CUs a major political force.

On August 7, 1998, President Bill Clinton signed into law the Credit Union Membership Access Act (HR 1151).

This followed a massive, 17-month advocacy campaign: The Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice.

A coalition of credit union and cooperative organizations launched the campaign after a Supreme Court decision severely limited credit unions’ fields of membership.

Lobbying efforts involved thousands of credit union members signing petitions and rallying in Washington, D.C., and other cities, urging Congress to produce legislation that would allow for the expansion of credit unions’ fields of membership.

Although HR 1151 passed the House on a 411-8 vote and in the Senate on a 92-6 vote, the outcome was anything but certain during the campaign.


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