WASHINGTON (2/27/14)--U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer (D-Wash.) praised credit unions for creating jobs locally through member business lending during remarks made Wednesday at the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference.
"I have seen how important it is for businesses to get access to economic capital," Kilmer said. "It can be the difference for a business being able to invest in a new facility--and those are not just numbers on a spreadsheet. They translate into jobs."
He told the story of a manufacturing company in his district that received an MBL from a credit union to invest in a new facility two years ago. The company has been able to increase its workforce by 30%, Kilmer said.
CUNA is pressing the U.S. Congress to increase the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level.
CUNA estimates the MBL cap change would help credit unions lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create around 140,000 new jobs.
Kilmer also praised credit unions for helping Americans save. He is co-sponsor of a House bill that would allow credit unions and other financial institutions nationwide to offer prize-linked savings (PLS) accounts (News Now Oct 31). A similar bill was introduced in Senate.
Kilmer, as a state senator, was also the primary sponsor of legislation that brought PLS to the state of Washington in 2011.
Credit unions have a presence at nearly every community event he attends in his district, Kilmer said. "The reason for that is credit unions are making a difference in our communities. They are a critical part of the communities they serve, and I want to thank you for that, and Congress ought to understand that."