WASHINGTON (1/27/11)--Lifting the cap on credit union member business lending should be a key part of the economic recovery and job creation plans touted by the House Financial Services Committee and other members of Congress, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said in a letter sent ahead of Wednesday’s financial services hearing. The financial services committee yesterday held its first hearing of the 112th Congress, entitled “Promoting Economic Recovery and Job Creation: The Road Forward.” Academics and finance industry insiders testified during the hearing, which was led by committee chair Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.). Cheney in the CUNA letter said that “America’s credit unions and their 93 million members stand ready to be part of the solution to the economic problems our nation faces.” The letter also noted the Obama administration’s strong support for MBL-related legislation. A 2010 piece of legislation that was introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) would have lifted the MBL cap to 27.5% of total assets. CUNA has estimated that doing so would allow credit unions to lend an additional $10 billion to small businesses in the first year after implementation, helping them to create over 100,000 new jobs. “Credit unions do not need taxpayer money to lend to small businesses: they need the authority from Congress to do so,” Cheney added. The committee has tentatively scheduled a Feb. 17 hearing to study the Fed's planned implementation of interchange provisions. Other issues of interest to credit unions, including housing finance, monetary policy, and portions of Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform rules, will be discussed by the full committee and various related subcommittees in the coming weeks.