WASHINGTON (11/13/12)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) is pushing hard for a vote on member business lending (MBL) cap legislation during the lame duck session of Congress, and CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney in a video said he needs the help of credit unions and small business owners "to make this vote a reality."
MBL legislation made Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid's (D-Nev.) list of 'to-do-items for this lame duck session of Congress, and Senate leadership has committed to a floor vote on MBL legislation. CUNA and credit union leagues are also urging credit unions to participate in a national Washington fly-in set for Nov. 27-28, during the heart of Congress' lame duck session, expressly to advocate for an MBL vote. Word surfaced last week that the banking trade associations are organizing a fly-in of their own in an attempt to counter credit union efforts--another reason CUNA is urging credit unions to respond to this call for action.
Cheney's new MBL video also features commentary from Senate MBL chief sponsor Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and clips from a recent Capitol Hill pro-MBL rally held by CUNA and pro-MBL coalition partners.
"Altogether, our actions stress the crucial role credit unions play in small business expansion and job growth. We have made a strong case; many in Congress support us," Cheney said.
CUNA and credit union leagues already have met with nearly every member of Congress to set the stage for an MBL vote, and members of the CUNA-organized coalition of 40 pro-small business groups are also actively making the case for more credit union business lending in their own meetings with lawmakers.
But the argument could still be made stronger, Cheney emphasized. "Every league, credit union and small business partner must contact their Senators and House members--no matter if you do or don't make business loans. We need as many contacts as possible: In-person meetings, phone calls, emails," he said. "We can do this. The time is now. Speak out. Let Congress know that credit unions are ready, willing and able to give small business, and our economy, the boost it needs," Cheney added.
The lame duck session is scheduled to begin when members of Congress return to Washington today.
CUNA is prepared for a straight up-or-down vote on stand-alone MBL legislation, but CUNA is also eyeing "a number of good vehicles that MBLs could hitch a ride on," CUNA Executive Vice President John Magill said.