WASHINGTON (4/8/11)--Legislation that would lift the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5% of total assets was introduced in the House on Thursday. Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) introduced the bill, and Reps. Russ Carnahan (D-Mo.), Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Gary Peters (D-Mich.) are original co-sponsors of H.R. 1418, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. The bill is similar to Senate legislation offered by Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) last month. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney thanked the legislators for introducing the bill. Cheney added that this legislation, coupled with the Senate bill, gives credit unions reason to believe “that they may--soon--be able to do more to help our nation’s economy grow and prosper.” Royce in a release said that the MBL cap lift legislation “takes an important step in shifting our current economic path and putting Americans back to work.” McCarthy added that she was “proud to reach across the aisle-–and across the country--to help our small businesses and entrepreneurs grow at this critical time." CUNA has estimated that the MBL cap lift could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers. Udall spoke in support of his bill on the Senate floor last week, calling on his fellow senators to help him "get government out of the way" and allow credit unions to increase their lending to small businesses. The Senate bill has 18 co-sponsors, and Senate Banking Chairman Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) has said he is interested in examining the MBL legislation in his committee.