WASHINGTON (12/9/09)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has urged House members to include expanded business lending authority for credit unions, as presented in H.R. 3380, in a jobs creation bill that is being drafted by Reps. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and George Miller (D-Calif.). The jobs bill is titled Promoting Lending for America’s Small Business Act. “Congress turned to credit unions during the Great Depression to give consumers access to financial services because the banks would not serve them,” CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica wrote. “Today, small businesses face the same dilemma – they need access to credit, but it is not available through banks. Credit unions have been providing business loans to their members for over 100 years. In fact, as banks have pulled back credit from small businesses, credit unions have continued to lend and they have the available funds and expertise to do more,” he added. H.R. 3380, which was introduced by Reps. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.) earlier this year, would increase the credit union member business lending cap to 25% of a credit union’s total assets, raise the “de minimis” threshold for a loan to be considered a “member business loan” to $250,000, and exempt loans made in qualified underserved areas from the cap. In the letter, Mica repeated CUNA claims that including the credit union business lending provision in the jobs bill would inject more than $10 billion into the economy in the first year, and help create more than 108,000 jobs – at no cost to taxpayers. Further supporting H.R. 3380, CUNA said that the bill “recognizes that credit unions have a track record that demonstrates they can help in a safe and sound manner and that they should be part of the solution to the credit crunch small businesses face.” Kanjorski recently discussed H.R. 3380 with President Barack Obama, and the U.S. Treasury and the Small Business Administration have also mentioned lifting the MBL cap as one of many ways that the Obama administration could assist small businesses. The House is scheduled to begin votes on regulatory reform measures today.