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Washington
Udall excited about MBL bill potential
WASHINGTON (2/25/10)--Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) on Wednesday told credit union representatives at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC) that Congress would pass his member business lending bill, S. 2919, with their help.
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Udall's bill would allow credit unions to increase the number and amount of loans given to members with small businesses by lifting the MBL cap to 25% of assets. The bill would also raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a member business loan to $250,000. Udall said that he has heard "scores of stories nationwide" that make him excited about the potential of his bill. CUNA has estimated that the MBL reforms would create over 100,000 new jobs and increase small business lending by $10 billion within the first year following enactment. For Udall, unemployment remains high on his list of concerns, and while federal stimulus funds have helped alleviate this issue somewhat, he said that Congress must help employers expand their businesses and hire again. The U.S. Congress must look for "job creation policies that are deficit neutral," and find "simple cost effective ways" to do such, Udall added. Congress should not allow any further government help for the banks until the government does more to help credit unions that could, in turn, help businesses, without spending a dime of taxpayer money. Addressing the ongoing debate over financial regulatory reform, Udall said that he is "familiar" with credit union concerns on many regulatory issues, adding that he would judge any potential regulatory reform proposals on whether or not they protect taxpayers and consumers. Udall hinted that a comprehensive Senate regulatory reform package could be on the floor of the Senate by May. Sen. Christopher Dodd, Senate Banking Committee chairman, also indicated at the GAC that a regulatory reform package would be ready “soon.” (See related story: Dodd: CUs are good for America) Closing his remarks, Udall said that he is awed by the "passion" of both credit union members and employees have for credit unions, and called the credit union movement an example of the "American spirit."


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