The Senate is expected to resume consideration of
H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act on Tuesday. It is expected that the Senate will take several votes related to the Small Business Lending Fund Act including votes on a motion to invoke cloture on an amendment offered by Sen. Mike Johanns (R-NE), to repeal the expanded 1099 reporting requirements passed as part of the Obama Health Care bill. This motion is not expected to be successful, and if it fails, the Senate will vote on cloture of an amendment offered by Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on the same subject. If this motion succeeds, the Senate would proceed to as much as 30 hours of debate on the Nelson amendment; the Senate will then most likely proceed to a vote on the motion to invoke cloture on the Baucus-Landrieu-Reid substitute amendment. The vote on this motion is the key vote because if it is successful, the path is essentially clear for the bill to pass the Senate before the end of Thursday without further amendment. It appears from press reports that there are at least 60 votes in favor of the small business bill, assuming some form of 1099 relief is included.
The procedural path for consideration of the Udall amendment to increase the credit union MBL cap continues to be very difficult. Passage of cloture on the substitute amendment would essentially block additional amendments from being considered.
Nevertheless, the LSCU continues to encourage the Senate to consider the Udall amendment increasing the MBL cap. In a procedural move to remain technically eligible for consideration, it is expected that Sen. Udall will refile his amendment Monday. As this situation unfolds, the LSCU will continue to keep members updated.
CUNA met last week with White House officials and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to discuss the prospects for member business loan legislation in the Senate. In a statement sent to the LSCU Cheney writes, "we made all of our points and, after some back and forth with the Majority Leader, I believe the door remains open, and that this could prove to have been a pivotal meeting ... It is imperative that we continue to get calls of support from other Senators directly to Sen. Reid."
Cheney noted to the White House officials that, absent the Udall amendment, America's 7,800 credit unions "will find it hard to understand" how the U.S. Congress could approve a $30 billion taxpayer expense to bolster flagging bank lending, but not let credit unions step in to help increase credit flow and job opportunities at no cost to the government. CUNA General Counsel Eric Richard, who also participated in the White House meeting,said, "We stressed the urgency of quick action by the White House in support of this amendment" because of the quickly approaching vote.
The LSCU encourages all members to take a moment today to contact their two U.S. Senators to request Majority Leader Reid continue his commitment to co-sponsor Sen. Udall’s MBL amendment:
Sen. Bill Nelson (FL) 202.224.5274
Sen. George LeMieux (FL) 202.224.3041
Sen. Richard Shelby (AL) 202.224.5744 Sen. Jeff Sessions (AL) 202.224.4124