WASHINGTON (3/22/12)--Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), a lead sponsor of legislation that would increase the member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets, told Credit Union National Association (CUNA) 2012 Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) attendees "now is the time" to exert extra effort and get MBL legislation passed by the U.S. Congress.
Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) (shown here addressing CUNA's 2012 GAC Wednesday) is a lead sponsor of a House bill to raise the credit union member business lending cap and has underscored that the bill would help provide credit to the country's small businesses without increasing government borrowing. (CUNA Photo)
Royce's comments came just hours before about 4,000 credit unions, in town for the CUNA GAC, launched an effort to visit every one of the 535 House and Senate offices on Capitol Hill in support of the MBL bill and other credit union priorities.
With support from both sides of the aisle Royce's bill (H.R. 1418) has 123 co-sponsors. Similar legislation in the Senate (S. 509) is expected to come up for a vote in the coming weeks. Royce said Wednesday he would bring his bill to the House floor following that Senate vote.
Royce said Congress has a chance to put forward legislation that gives credit unions the opportunity to do what they do best: "loan within their own community."
The MBL bills would inject around $13 billion into the economy, creating as many as 140,000 new jobs, according to CUNA estimates.
Royce, a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, cited in his GAC remarks that U.S. Small Business Administration statistics that show 80% of MBL loans would be to small businesses that have not been able to access to capital in the past.
"These are small businesses that would not get their loan without us passing this legislation," he said. The MBL cap increase legislation would give these businesses the ability to access capital and lines of credit to hire new employees, and expand their businesses, and "that is what is going to be essential to turning this economy around," Royce added.
Royce said he was proud of the work that credit unions have done to convince members of Congress they should sponsor H.R. 1418 and S. 509.
He told the credit union advocates meeting with their legislators this week to take the time to explain what makes credit unions unique, and urged them to continue their advocacy efforts in their home districts.
"People like their banks, but they love their credit unions, and the reason is the job that you do," Royce added.