Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Your Phone Line Strengthens ABA's Hand

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Your Phone Line Strengthens ABA's Hand

Article excerpt

ABA MAINTAINS SOLID LINES OF communication with official Washington whether we're working with a new administration and a new Congress, or ones that have been around for a while.

But the most important line of communication we have is your phone line.

So much of what ABA accomplished last year in working with Congress and the administration was due to your phone calls, your emails, and your faxes to Congress. That was true whether the issue was the growth of the Farm Credit System, the expansion of the bank-like credit union industry, or passage of economic stabilization legislation.

In Washington, D.C., the bottom line is that grassroots activity alters outcomes.

And it's more important now than ever.

Just look at the passage of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act last fall. Forty thousand bankers asked members of Congress to support it through ABA's communications system. Thousands more added their voices through the efforts of their state associations.

Your grassroots participation earned ABA a reputation for effectiveness in Washington, D.C. But now there's a new game in town. We want the new administration and the new Congress to know who we are and what we do for our communities. The more engaged we are, the more effective we will be.

There has never been a more important time to be involved in the work of our association. The Obama Administration, like the others before it, will have its own ideas on economic policy. And so will the Congress.

The year ahead may be filled with opportunities. But it will also be filled with serious challenges on a host of issues including regulatory restructuring, economic stabilization, deposit insurance, housing finance, interchange, and credit cards. And it all comes at a time when the media shorthand for the problems that others have caused is the "bank bailout. …

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