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News Now

Washington
NEW Schumer backs CU MBLs as jobs initiative
WASHINGTON (UPDATED: 4:45 p.m. ET, 9/8/11)--In a significant action in support of credit union member business lending (MBL), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) has publicly backed adding MBL cap lift language to a developing jobs bill. Schumer in a statement said that lifting the “job-killing” lending cap “would be a win” for small businesses. “In these difficult economic times, we must ensure that they have access to the credit they need to grow and create jobs,” he added. The senator also noted "small businesses are job creators and the lifeblood of Long Island’s economy.” Long Island, N.Y.’s Bethpage FCU is close to reaching its MBL cap, and Bethpage CEO Kirk Kordeleski said that “since the financial crisis hit in 2008, credit unions have stepped up to the plate to serve main street business owners which has accelerated our timeline of reaching the cap. If it is not lifted it will limit our ability to lend, which is not what the economy needs at this time—another financial institution not lending.” The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) also supports the addition of MBL legislation to an economic job stimulus package, and estimates 140,000 jobs would be created within the first year after enactment. Separate House (H.R. 1418) and Senate bills (S.509) would, in part, increase the MBL limit to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25% restriction. Taking this action would inject more than $13 billion in new funding into the economy, at no cost to taxpayers. "During this difficult time in our economy, many small businesses require capital to stay afloat, remain competitive, and ramp up hiring. By increasing the credit union cap, we can help fill this void and create job creation without spending additional tax dollars," Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), who are co-sponsors of the House bill, said sent a joint letter sent to President Barack Obama yesterday. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) in a separate letter told the president that the Senate's bipartisan bill to "ease government restrictions on credit unions and help small businesses--at no cost to taxpayers--is a no-brainer and should be part of the (president's) proposal." President Obama has scheduled a speech for this evening before a joint session of Congress and strengthening small business in America will be front and center.


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