WASHINGTON (8/4/11)--Noting its appreciation for the Obama administration’s support for expanded credit union member business lending (MBL) authority, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Wednesday urged President Obama to call upon the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to that effect when it returns from the August recess. In a letter to Obama, CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney noted that credit unions have been around for more than 100 years to serve their members and some of the earliest credit union members were small entrepreneurs in need of credit to start or run small businesses. “As the economy continues to recover from the financial crisis, Americans need credit unions now more than ever,” Cheney wrote. Legislation to allow increased credit union member business lending is “job-creation legislation that costs the taxpayers nothing and could help employ over 140,000 Americans in the next year, and many more in years to come,” Cheney said. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has introduced S. 509 in the Senate and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) has introduced H.R. 1418 in the House. Both bills would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25%. “On behalf of America’s credit unions and their 93 million members, we appreciate your administration’s support for this legislation and we encourage you to build that support by calling on Congress to pass this bill when it returns from the August recess,” the CUNA letter said. The letter was sent a day after the president signed a bill to increase the nation’s debt ceiling into law and made remarks that Washington must now turn its focus to “what matters most to the American people”—things such as job creation and economic growth. In addition to stimulating job growth, the MBL cap increase would also provide $13 billion in new credit for small businesses in the first year of enactment, CUNA figures show.