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CUNA presses MBLs as president launches jobs plan
WASHINGTON (9/9/11)--The discussions and deliberations that will follow last night’s release of President Barack Obama’s proposal for an economic and job market revival present a “tailor-made opportunity to push a member business lending (MBL) cap lift for credit unions as one of the many ways job creation can be kick-started,” Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said. “Especially now, when our country is experiencing zero job growth, we believe Congress and the administration will be drawn to a measure that will generate $13 billion in new lending to small business and create 140,000 new jobs without burdening taxpayers or adding to the national debt,” Cheney added. Pending legislation in both the House and Senate would lift the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from 12.25%. The president himself said Thursday night that he does not "pretend" that the plan unveiled before the joint session of Congress "will solve all our problems." "It shouldn’t be, nor will it be, the last plan of action we propose. What’s guided us from the start of this crisis hasn’t been the search for a silver bullet. It’s been a commitment to stay at it--to be persistent--to keep trying every new idea that works, and listen to every good proposal, no matter which party comes up with it." Ahead of Obama’s Thursday night speech before a joint session of Congress, Cheney in an editorial published on political news blog The Daily Caller said that lifting the credit union member business loan cap could be one of many “smaller-sized but still helpful measures” aimed at growing the ailing economy. “Small though it may be in the grand scheme, this is one good and politically viable solution. Undoubtedly there are others. Helpful measures such as these should not get lost in the larger jobs debate to come,” he added. House and Senate members have backed an MBL cap lift in recent days, with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) yesterday saying that lifting the "job-killing" lending cap "would be a win" for small businesses. (See related story: Schumer backs CU MBLs as jobs initiative) Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who is the main sponsor of MBL cap lift bill S. 509, and Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who are co-sponsors of House MBL cap lift legislation, also urged Obama to add an MBL cap lift to his job creation package. About 450 credit union advocates are expected to visit Capitol Hill lawmakers during CUNA’s Hike the Hill, which begins on Sept. 14 and lasts through mid-October. The MBL cap is high on their list of priorities.
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