WASHINGTON (7/12/10)—WASHINGTON (7/12/10)—Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney on Friday continued to underscore the urgency of credit unions continuing to make grassroots contacts and to encourage their senators to back legislation that would lift the member business lending (MBL) cap for credit unions. Cheney noted that Congress returns to session this week after a July 4th District Work Break and has only until Aug. 9 before the next district break. He called the next weeks a “critical juncture” for the MBL cap provision and other legislation of interest to credit unions. “Credit unions can add as much a $10 billion in credit for small businesses and 108,000 new jobs—at no cost to taxpayers—if the MBL cap is lifted even just to 25% of total assets. Now is an important time for credit unions to continue make clear to federal lawmakers how the country benefits if this artificial cap—an arbitrary 12.25%--is lifted,” Cheney said. The MBL fight was also taken to home districts over the recently completed work period, with representatives from state leagues and credit unions meeting with their legislators in home offices and public forums. CUNA will continue to make the case for increased MBL authority as the Congress returns to session. Credit union backers are specifically supporting Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) amendment to raise the cap to 27.5% of a credit union’s assets. Udall’s provision could be added to a bill that is intended to stimulate more credit for small businesses, and CUNA is urging credit unions to garner senators’ support for the addition to the bill. That bill also proposes to provide community banks provide an extra $30 billion to lend to small businesses through a government-backed, taxpayer-covered lending fund. Another focus of CUNA’s grassroots call-to-action is continued opposition to a provision in the comprehensive financial regulatory relief package, passed by the House and awaiting a Senate vote, that would require the Federal Reserve to set interchange fees. CUNA has opposed the overall reform package because of concerns about the harmful impact that government price-setting of interchange fees would have on credit unions and their members.