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Senate panel considers jobs CUNA urges MBLs
WASHINGTON (3/6/12)--With the Senate Banking Committee scheduled to discuss initiatives that could create job growth during a hearing this morning, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues to advocate for increasing the 12.25%-of-assets credit union member business lending (MBL) cap as a good, immediate way to spur the economy and create new jobs--all at no cost to the U.S. taxpayer.

Increasing the MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets could inject $13 billion of credit for small businesses into the economy in the first year after enactment, and help small businesses create 140,000 new jobs, CUNA has estimated.

Separate bills in the U.S. House and Senate that would increase the MBL cap have bipartisan support. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan noted Monday that both have been vetted by the U.S. Congress, and added that opposing arguments introduced by bankers have been "debunked."

For instance, in February CUNA coordinated a small business Hike the Hill event, during which small business owners underscored their unmet need for credit and their support of increased MBL authority for credit unions.  During a congressional hearing, banking witnesses had claimed that there is no unmet demand for credit by the country's small businesses.

The Senate version of MBL cap increase legislation (S. 509) had 22 cosponsors and the House version (H.R. 1418) has 122 cosponsors.

Also of interest to credit unions this week in Congress:

  • The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled today to markup that panel's budget views and estimates for fiscal year 2013;
  • On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee has scheduled a hearing on "Examining Lending Discrimination Practices and Foreclosure Abuse."  Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez of the Civil Rights Division is expected to testify during that hearing; and
  • The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing on President Barack Obama's government reorganization plan on Wednesday.

The Senate will remain in session next week, but the House will be on recess until March 19.

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