WASHINGTON (3/21/120--Credit unions are "near and dear to my heart,'' and have "played an important role in the history of the country,'' Rep. Steven Chabot (R-Ohio) told attendees of the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) on Tuesday morning.
He said credit unions have done an excellent job of being a "source of capital to regular people'' and that's why he has supported efforts to expand lending opportunities for credit unions.
He noted that he is a co-sponsor of legislation that would raise the cap on member business loans from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% of assets and has also sponsored legislation that would increase Small Business Administration loan programs in which credit unions can participate.
While the economy is improving, Chabot said, the crisis in Europe, Iran's buildup of nuclear arms and rising gasoline prices all have the potential to slow down growth. In addition, he noted that while the unemployment rate has been declining, he believes the data are misleading because they don't account for people who have stopped looking for jobs or are underemployed.
The 2012 GAC runs through Thursday.