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CUNA denounces banker opposition to MBL increase
WASHINGTON (1/21/10)--Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Dan Mica contacted Senate leaders Wednesday and denounced bankers' efforts to dissuade lawmakers from supporting a bill that would create more than 100,000 jobs by removing the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap. In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Mica said he was “disappointed to see” a recent letter from the American Bankers Association which sought to discourage Senate support for including S. 2919, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, in jobs creation legislation that is expected to be considered in the near future. “The bankers’ once again oppose efforts aimed at providing small businesses with capital, and offer no alternative to address the current problems facing small businesses – problems that they have helped create and appear to be doing little to help alleviate,” Mica said. Encouraging both Reid and McConnell to support S. 2919 as it makes its way through the Senate, Mica said that “credit unions remain willing to lend to their small business-owning members,” and “allowing credit unions to extend loans to these credit starved businesses will add fuel to a self-sustaining economic expansion.” S. 2919, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) late last month, would increase credit union MBL authority to 25% of assets and raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a member business loan to $250,000. The legislation also has the support of Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), and similar legislation is awaiting action in the House. CUNA has estimated that lifting the MBL cap would free credit unions to loan as much as $10 billion to small businesses in the first year of enactment, a move that would create over 108,000 new jobs. CUNA has noted that while this will not solve the entire credit problem facing small businesses, it will provide meaningful assistance at no cost to taxpayers and without increasing the size of government. For the full CUNA letter, use the resource link.
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