WASHINGTON (10/6/11)--Noting that one of the few things Congress can agree on is the need to create new jobs, Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Ga.) took to the floor of the U.S. House Wednesday to call for greater support of legislation that would increase the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap.
With so many struggling to cope with layoffs and home foreclosures, helping small business owners should be a priority, Woodall said, adding that “anyone who has talked to small business knows they are having a hard time accessing credit.” H.R. 1418, which was introduced by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) earlier this year, would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25%. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has estimated that lifting the cap to 27.5% of assets would inject $13 billion in new funds into the economy and create 140,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers. A similar bill (S. 509) has been introduced in the Senate. If MBL cap increase legislation were approved, “every credit union in America would be able to take part in funding small businesses and helping them succeed,” Woodall said. The legislator noted that H.R. 1418 is co-sponsored by 53 Democrats and 31 Republicans, an increasingly rare situation in what is now a frequently divided D.C. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who authored the Senate version of the bill, touted the benefits of increased credit union small business lending this week in a speech before the 2011 Latino Business Summit in Denver. "No matter how successful they are or how good their business plan is, small-business owners still find it difficult to access the capital they need to start or grow their business, and minority-owned businesses often face additional obstacles in accessing this important lifeline," Udall said. He noted that increasing the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets would result in $1 billion in new funding from credit unions in mainly Hispanic areas. CUNA is scheduled to testify on the MBL legislation before an Oct. 12 House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions and consumer credit hearing. For Woodall's complete floor statement, use the video link above.