WASHINGTON (12/23/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in a Tuesday letter thanked Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) for introducing S. 2919, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, earlier this week. The legislation, which was co-signed by Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kirsten Gillebrand (D-N.Y.), would increase credit union member business lending (MBL) to 25% of assets and raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a member business loan to $250,000. While S. 2919 “will not completely solve the problems small businesses face,” CUNA in the letter recommended that S. 2919 could be considered as part of broader job creation legislation. The changes proposed by S. 2919 “will give credit unions currently serving the lending needs of their business-owning members the opportunity to help even more” and will “encourage credit unions that do not currently offer these loans to consider investing the necessary resources to do so,” the letter added. In a release addressing the recently introduced legislation, Udall said that “by increasing access to credit union loans, small businesses across the country will be able to expand, and create thousands of jobs." Snowe seconded Udall’s remarks, saying that “modestly increasing the lending cap for credit union members to 25 percent” would “help to thaw the frozen credit markets and increase access to critical capital for small businesses which, in turn, will bolster their business and spur job growth across the nation.” Boxer also hailed the legislation as a “common-sense measure” that will spur business growth. The release also quoted CUNA estimates that state that the MBL reforms would create over 100,000 new jobs and increase small business lending by $10 billion within the first year following their enactment.