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Hike the Hill results in two MBL co-sponsor; more may follow

The LSCU Hike the Hill came at a perfect time. The U.S. Congress is looking at ways to stimulate the economy and put people back to work. Credit unions from Alabama and Florida talked to their members of Congress about a variety of topics including pending legislation to raise the member business lending (MBL) cap.

“Right now all you hear is ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’” John Neusaenger, president of Orlando (Fla.) FCU told the CU Journal. “And the best part of it is, it won’t cost a thing. It’s a tax-free jobs bill.”

Following the visits, Reps. Allen West (R-FL) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) became the sixth and seventh representative from Florida to co-sponsor HR 1418, legislation to raise the MBL cap from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent. The other co-sponsors from Florida include Reps. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Jeff Miller (R-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Dennis Ross (R-FL) and Bill Young (R-FL). A number of other representatives expressed interest in signing on to HR 1418. The League is following up on all of its visits to make sure those that would like to co-sponsor have all of the information they need. House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus (R-AL) told credit unions that there will be a sub-committee hearing on HR 1418 on Oct. 12. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) is one of 20 co-sponsors for the Senate version of the same legislation ( S. 509).

Alabama legislators heard not only from credit unions, but also Terry McDaniel, a small business owner that could only get a loan from Listerhill CU in Muscle Shoals. However, when he wanted to expand, Listerhill could not approve his loan because of the 12.25-percent cap. The Alabama delegation thank McDaniel for coming to speak with them.

In Alabama, Sen. Jeff Session's (R-AL) office asked for more information on MBL and the lobby session included great discussion on how raising the cap would pump significant money into the marketplace without costing taxpayers a penny.

Credit unions also talked about preserving the tax-exemption among other topics. Look for a complete wrap up of the visits in the Sept. 26 edition of eSignal.

House Financial Services Chairman
Spencer Bachus meets with credit
unions at Hike the Hill.

(l to r) John Deese, CEO, PBC CU,
Art Wood, CEO, Railroad and
Industrial CU, Mary Wood, CEO,
Florida West Coast CU, Rep. Allen
West (R-FL), Pat Mason, CEO, Sun
CU and Patrick La Pine, CEO, LSCU