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CUNA strategists plot new course for MBLs
WASHINGTON (9/15/10)--With the Senate on Tuesday failing to add legislation that would lift the member business lending (MBL) cap to a small business job creation package, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said that credit unions “can and should continue to push” for lifting the cap in this and future legislative sessions. The small business job creation package, which, among other things, would create a $30 billion fund to encourage small banks to lend to businesses, will likely come up for a full Senate vote by the end of this week. Cheney said that CUNA will seek another legislative vehicle for an MBL amendment “or consider building support to move it as a stand-alone bill.” “In any event--we believe there may still be a chance for action, perhaps in a 'lame duck' session after the election,” Cheney added. Cheney and other CUNA representatives met with senior White House officials late last week to discuss the MBL issue. During that meeting, Cheney noted that America's 7,800 credit unions would “find it hard to understand" how the U.S. Congress could approve a $30 billion taxpayer expense to bolster flagging bank lending, but not let credit unions step in to help increase credit flow and job opportunities at no cost to the government. The Senate MBL legislation, which was introduced by Mark Udall (D-Colo.) earlier this year, would lift the current 12.25% cap on member business lending to 27.5% of a credit union’s assets. The MBL legislation, which has been supported by several in the House and Senate, as well as the Obama administration, would inject over $10 billion into the economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs in the first year following enactment.


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