WASHINGTON (11/4/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a Tuesday letter urged U.S. House members to support increased business lending capacity for credit unions by backing HR 3380, the Promoting Lending for America’s Small Business Act, which would raise the amount of money a credit union can devote to business lending. In the letter, CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica said that HR 3380, if passed, “would enable credit unions to continue to provide significant capital to credit union member-owned small businesses – up to $10 billion in the first year – and create as many as 108,000 new jobs.” CUNA has sent similar letters to the Senate, President Barack Obama, and other top administration officials. As he advocated lifting the lending cap, Mica emphasized that credit unions are financial institutions that “know their members and know how to lend to their members” and “have demonstrated the ability to provide these loans safely and soundly.” “This is common sense legislation that will provide economic stimulus without increasing the size of government or costing taxpayers a dime,” he added. Mica also cited backing for HR 3380 from a number of small business and public policy groups, including Americans for Tax Reform, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the National Association of Mortgage Brokers, and the National Small Business Association. HR 3380 would increase the MBL cap to 25% of a credit union's total assets. It also would raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a "member business loan" to $250,000, and exempt loans made to non-profit religious organizations as well as loans made in qualified underserved areas from the cap. While HR 3380 continues to await Congressional action, small business lending was addressed by the recently passed HR 3354, the Small Business Financing and Investment Act, which House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi said would “comprehensively reform small business lending programs to spur job creation and meet the needs of American small business.” HR 3354, which passed the House by a vote of 389 to 32 on October 29, would give small banks and credit unions “the confidence to open lending to a wider community of entrepreneurs.” “By offering small businesses the tools and resources to endure our current crisis and thrive in the future, we are laying the foundation for our recovery and placing a down payment on our long-term economic growth," Pelosi added. For the full CUNA letter, use the resource link.