WASHINGTON (2/27/13)--Rep. Ed Royce said current economic tensions are proving more than ever the need for expanding credit union member business lending (MBL) authority. The California Republican urged attendees at the Credit Union National Association's Governmental Affairs Conference to stress this issue during planned visits to congressional offices this week.
Royce is the author and prime sponsor of the Credit Union Regulatory Improvement Act to increase the credit union MBL cap. He told the conference the legislation now has 40 co-sponsors, and includes members of both political parties.
He also reported success in soliciting Senate co-sponsors, despite bank opposition. "The more we focus on the legislation, the more we capture members of the Senate," he said.
Royce said banker opposition to the bill will be less of a factor if credit unions can represent the issue as an important move to broaden consumer options at a time when they are badly needed. He suggested opponents would like to define it so that members of Congress will see it as simply a conflict for market share between credit unions and banks.
"You are the boots on the ground," he told the GAC session. "Each of us in our credit unions have stories to tell. I want you to share them so we can raise this lending cap." He said it makes no sense to be subject to certain artificial lending caps in this kind of an economy.
"You are the most effective group in doing this that I know," he added. He said credit unions are noted for representing the interests of their members but also promoting economic advantages that will improve the economy and create jobs.