WASHINGTON (3/19/10)--Interviewed on a major news-talk Los Angeles radio station yesterday, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica emphasized credit unions could make $10 billion in loans to help small businesses and create 108,000 new jobs if the U.S. Congress passes legislation raising the current statutory cap. And he said an upcoming jobs package would be a likely vehicle to advance the bill. Mica discussed the member business lending (MBL) issue with Frank Mottek, host of a popular one-hour business program on KNX 1070 radio, the CBS news affiliate in Los Angeles, the second largest news market in the country. Mica told Mottek that CUNA is working to attach the MBL legislation to a jobs measure in Congress. “Right now the second jobs package of the year is being put together,” the CUNA leader explained. With the help of California co-sponsors such as Reps. Ed Royce (R), Brad Sherman (D) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D), Mica said, CUNA is “trying to see that (the MBL bill) is a part of the second package that should come up in the next few weeks.” The House MBL bill (HR 3380) was introduced by Reps. Royce and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) and currently has 100 co-sponsors; the Senate bill (S. 2919) has 11 co-sponsors. The measures would raise the current MBL cap to 25% of assets from 12.25%. Asked by Mottek about obstacles to passage, Mica noted opposition is coming from some quarters of the community banking industry that do not want the competition. “Of course, our answer is A) we’ve been doing it for 90 years, B) we’re willing to do it, and C) you aren’t willing to do it so let us go ahead and help. If you feel that for business reasons you can’t make those kinds of loans or won’t, don’t stop us from trying to move forward.” Added Mica: “I hope folks who hear this will call their congressman and senators and let them know there ought to be a good, solid choice. No one is anti-bank. But (the banks) certainly shouldn’t try to shut down credit unions at a time when this country and California need them most." To hear an excerpt from the interview, use the resource link below.