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Housing small biz funding coming up in House
WASHINGTON (6/8/10)—While credit unions will be focused on interchange activity this week, the Credit Union National Association will also be monitoring the House for action on the Federal Housing Agency and Small Business Lending. The House on Thursday is expected to consider H.R. 5702, the FHA Reform Act, which would allow the FHA to adjust its premium structure for new borrowers while still providing affordable mortgage insurance to the underserved individuals that the FHA is intended to serve. The legislation, as currently written, also enhances the FHA’s authority to terminate lenders' approval to originate or underwrite loans backed by FHA insurance in instances where the FHA has found evidence of fraud or noncompliance. The House may also bring up H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act, later this week. That legislation would create a $30 billion small business lending fund for community banks. CUNA’s own plan to strengthen funding for small businesses has also been a topic of conversation lately, with the U.S. Treasury and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) each publicly backing lifting the current 12.25% of assets cap on credit union member business lending. The Treasury’s MBL proposal, which would lift the cap to as high as 27.5%, provided the credit union in question attained certain funding and soundness thresholds, was recently sent to the Hill. Frank in recent weeks has promised that MBL legislation would come up for discussion in his Financial Services Committee soon. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D-Penn.) have each introduced their own member business lending proposals, and Kanjorski’s proposal currently has 122 House cosponsors. CUNA has publicly backed lifting the MBL cap, saying that doing so would inject over $10 billion in funds into the economy and create up to 100000 new jobs at no cost to taxpayers.


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