WASHINGTON (3/21/11)--Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) last week reaffirmed his commitment to “finally taking the common sense step of allowing credit unions to increase the amount of money they can lend to small businesses” and touted his proposed member business lending (MBL) cap lift legislation in a blog post on The Hill’s Congress Blog. Udall’s legislation, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 509), currently has 17 sponsors. The bill would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets, up from the current 12.25%. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has estimated that the MBL cap lift could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers. Udall in his blog post said that credit unions “know small businesses in their communities that need loans to expand and hire, and the credit unions have money to lend them.” He also noted that “nearly 350 credit unions, accounting for approximately 60% of all business loans subject to the 12.25% cap, are facing their cap and will have to dramatically slow their business lending.” The MBL cap lift is “a smart, no-cost way of increasing lending without drastically changing the composition of the small business lending market,” Udall added. The senator’s blog post mirrored comments he made on the Senate floor on Thursday. Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), a co-sponsor of S. 509, also backed the MBL legislation in her own Thursday comments. Snowe said that the MBL cap lift is “a critical way” of creating more jobs in America, and noted that the legislation would create 1,000 new jobs in her home state alone.