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CUNA meets White House officials on MBL urgency
WASHINGTON (9/13/10)--Senior White House officials and top representatives of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) met Friday as CUNA again urged the administration to increase its efforts in support of a higher member business lending (MBL) cap as it promotes ideas to help small businesses. CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney underscored that by taking his bill-signing pen to legislation to increase the statutory MBL cap, the President could help infuse $10 billion of new credit into small businesses and create more than 108,000 new jobs--at no cost to the American taxpayer. The U.S. Senate is scheduled to take up a pending small business jobs bill at 11:00 a.m. (ET) tomorrow, and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has drafted a possible amendment that would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union’s total assets, up from the current 12.25% limit. CUNA, the state credit union leagues and credit unions have been working feverishly to urge senators to vote in favor of the amendment as they continue consideration of the jobs bill. Within that bill is a $30 billion taxpayer-funded program to encourage community banks to do more lending to the nation’s small businesses. 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, noted, “We stressed the urgency of quick action by the White House in support of this amendment” because of the quickly approaching vote. CUNA Deputy General Counsel Mary Dunn and Senior Economist Bill Hampel also attended the meeting. In a letter to Obama earlier this month, CUNA applauded the administration for its commitment to small business, and reminded the administration that U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner earlier this year publicly backed lifting the MBL cap in a letter to Congress. Geithner also encouraged the administration to include MBL language in future economics-oriented legislative packages.

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