WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 2/14/13, 12:15 p.m. ET)--Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) today reintroduced legislation (H.R. 688) that would increase the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level, and the Credit Union National Association in a letter thanked Royce and co-sponsor Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) for their action.
The bill, if enacted, would help credit unions lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create over 140,000 new jobs.
"Credit unions understand that in order for the economy to fully recover, small businesses need access to credit, which will help their businesses grow. Credit unions have capital to lend, a history of prudent and safe small business lending, and a mission to help provide access to credit to their members—including their small business-owning members. They just need Congress to enact your legislation," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney wrote in a letter of support for the bill.
"We encourage all representatives to cosponsor this legislation, and hope the House will act quickly to pass your bill," he added in his letter to Royce and McCarthy.
Bankers provide the only true opposition to MBL bill progress, Cheney noted. "The bank lobby opposes this bill because they oppose credit unions; their arguments are without merit. The bill will not endanger the small banks in your community; the bill will not alter the nature or focus of credit unions; the bill is not inconsistent with the credit union mission or the purpose of their tax status. This legislation recognizes that credit unions are working in their communities to help small businesses, and it is important to enact even though the bank lobbyists oppose it," Cheney said.
Last year, MBL legislation had strong bipartisan support with 144 co-sponsors in the House and 21 in the Senate.