WASHINGTON (7/26/10)--The Senate by a 60 to 37 vote count late last week agreed to add back into a small business jobs bill a provision that would create a $30 billion fund to help small banks lend funds to small businesses. Similar legislation was dropped by Senate Democrats earlier in the week, but Sens. George LeMieux (R-Fla.) and Mary Landrieu (D-La.) presented the small business lending fund as an amendment on Thursday. That amendment, which passed with a mere two Republican votes from Sens. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) and LeMieux, also faced substantial procedural hurdles and was hampered by extensive political maneuvering prior to its passage. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) continue to work to add an amendment that would lift the member business lending (MBL) capacity of credit unions to 27.5% of total assets to the small business jobs bill. Udall discussed his amendment before the Senate earlier this month, saying that the legislation would "safely and soundly increase small business lending by credit unions without costing Americans a dime" and "could lead to large-scale job creation" in both his home district and nationwide. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs John Magill said that the prolonged debate over the small business legislation has allowed CUNA and credit unions to further solidify their argument for lifting the MBL cap. While it is not known if the MBL amendment will be added to the final Senate version of the small business legislation, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney continues to urge credit unions and credit union backers to encourage their legislators to support the legislation. Cheney last week also met with several legislators to discuss MBLs and other pressing credit union issues. CUNA has estimated that lifting the MBL cap to beyond 25% of total assets could create over 108,000 new jobs and inject $10 billion in new funds into the economy, providing needed relief to small businesses without costing taxpayers a dime.