WASHINGTON (9/10/12)--A Wednesday press event in Washington highlighting how member business lending (MBL) legislation will help small businesses and create new jobs--and featuring key U.S. Senate and House supporters--will be streamed across the Internet so that congressional offices and credit unions can watch. The event gets underway at 1:30 p.m. ET.
The event, which will feature remarks from key MBL sponsors Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), as well as Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney and MBL coalition partners, comes as members of Congress return to Washington this week. Washington political newspaper The Hill is presenting the MBL event as part of its "Issue Forum" series, and representatives from the paper will moderate presentations about the MBL legislation and what it could mean to small businesses in need of capital.
As part of the program, Rhett Buttle, of The Small Business Majority, and Eli Lehrer, of the R Street Institute--both respected leaders of their respective Washington think tanks--will also present a joint research report focusing on job growth, the role small business plays in the economy and the support that credit unions can offer to small business in the economy's recovery with expanded business lending authority. Credit union and small business representatives will also speak.
The event will be live streamed online, and will be available to the credit union community, members of Congress and their staff. To watch the event on Wednesday, go to thehill.com and follow the instructions. The event will be held in room 50 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
"We believe this event will reinforce to Congress the urgency of enacting MBL legislation at a time when job creation continues to be a huge policy concern," said Cheney, pointing to last Friday's jobs report showing unemployment still above 8%.
"I urge credit unions to take advantage of the opportunity to view the event themselves via the live webcast," Cheney added. "The issues forum will drive home the point that credit unions have a long and successful track record of small business lending, but some of the credit unions that have been most successful are being forced to curb or stop lending because they are bumping up against the MBL cap. This type of forum is one way that CUNA, credit unions and our supporters in Washington can help draw attention to the boost an MBL cap increase could give the economy," he said.
Bills that would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, from 12.25%, have been introduced in the House and Senate. Members of both parties support the MBL cap increase bills, and H.R. 1418 has 140 cosponsors. S. 2231 has 21 cosponsors, and Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on the MBL legislation.
CUNA has estimated that an MBL cap increase would create 140,000 jobs and inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy during the first year after enactment. Both benefits would come at no cost to taxpayers.