WASHINGTON and CHARLESTON, W.Va. (9/14/10)--Credit unions' member business lending (MBL) was highlighted in different articles over the weekend, this time in the Charleston (W.Va.) Gazette and the American Spectator. In the Gazette, business owner Brad Nichols told about the $200,000 loan he got from Star USA FCU in Charleston, after visiting several banks (Sept. 10). Nichols said the credit union's loan, which financed the purchase of rental properties in Charleston and nearby Dunbar, offered a lower interest rate, better terms and no application fees. "With that money, I've been able to replace windows, doors, carpet and air-conditioners," Nichols told the newspaper. "I've also been able to hire a part-time maintenance person." However, Star USA FCU President Dan Smithson told the newspaper that if the credit union hits the 12.25% of assets cap on MBLs, "we literally have to stop making small business loans, even if we have the capital available. It's disturbing to us that we've had this cap placed on us. There's no real practical reason for it." The article addressed a measure before Congress that would raise the MBL cap for credit unions to 27.5% of assets from 12.25% . The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) provided statistics for the article, noting that West Virginia's small businesses would receive $34 million more in loans from credit unions and 370 jobs would be created in the state if the cap were raised. The second article, a pro-MBL special report Monday in American Spectator, was written by John Berlau and Andrew Kwiatkowski from the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The article discussed amendments before Congress that would lift the MBL cap and urged Republicans to "unite in support of a bipartisan but Reaganese amendment that would liberalize financial institutions to serve small business needs." It noted CUNA's estimate that the measure would create billions in new loans and more than 100,000 jobs in the first year. Congress will be taking up the issue this week and could vote by Thursday on the issue of raising the MBL cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5%.