WASHINGTON (2/27/14)--Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), called 'a true credit union friend" when he was introduced by Scott Earl, president of the Mountain West Credit Union Association at the Credit Union National Association's 2014 Governmental Affairs Conference, urged credit union advocates to continue pressing for passage of higher member business lending authority.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) urged credit union advocates to continue pressing for passage of expanded member business lending authority during remarks at CUNA's 2014 Governmental Affair's Conference. (CUNA Photo)
In 2013, Udall sponsored the Credit Union Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, which would increase the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of assets, from the current 12.25%-of-assets level.
CUNA estimates the MBL cap change would help credit unions lend an additional $13 billion to small businesses in just the first year after enactment. This money, which would be made available at no expense to taxpayers, would in turn help small businesses create around 140,000 new jobs.
He asked GAC attendees to urge lawmakers, during their Capitol Hill visits, to co-sponsor the bill.
"Together, we are not giving up until we see final passage of this bill," Udall said. "For all the partisanship here in D.C., the formula for getting things done is the same as it's always been: Get people informed and then get support from everyone who's willing to give it."
Udall said if credit union advocates continue to "beat the drums," potential supporters will have an "aha" moment and realize the wisdom on expanding member business lending authority.
Udall, who proposed that members of Congress set aside partisan interests by sitting together during President Barack Obama's State of the Union address following the 2011 shooting of U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), praised credit unions for focusing on solutions rather than party politics. "You come together to improve our communities," Udall said.
He also praised credit unions for assisting Colorado residents during the 2013 government shutdown and during floods that plagued the state last summer. "Your commitment to the community underscores why the credit union model is as important to community as it has ever been," Udall said.