Legislation to lift the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap from 12.5 percent to 27.5 percent of total assets has been introduced in the House. Reps. Ed Royce (R-CA), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Russ Carnahan (D-MO), Hank Johnson (D-GA) and Gary Peters (D-MI) co-sponsored
H.R. 1418 which is known as the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. It is similar to Senate bill
S. 509 offered by Sens. Mark Udall (D-CO) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) last month.
Through a release, Rep. Royce said that the MBL cap lift legislation "takes an important step in shifting our current economic path and putting Americans back to work." Rep. McCarthy added that she was "proud to reach across the aisle -– and across the country -– to help our small businesses and entrepreneurs grow at this critical time."
CUNA estimates that the MBL cap lift could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers. Sen. Udall spoke in support of his bill on the Senate floor last week, calling on his fellow senators to help him "get government out of the way" and allow credit unions to increase their lending to small businesses.
"With a projected $1.6 trillion budget deficit, stimulus spending is not an option," said Royce. "This legislation takes an important step in shifting our current economic path and putting Americans back to work. As a result of the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, credit unions will be eligible to lend up to $10 billion to small businesses within a year, which translates into more than 100,000 new jobs."
The Senate bill has 18 co-sponsors, and Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has said he is interested in examining the MBL legislation in his committee.