WASHINGTON (3/18/11)--As anticipated, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) took to the Senate floor Thursday and asked his colleagues to include an increased cap for credit union member business lending (MBL) in a small business bill currently under debate. Also as anticipated, it was questioned whether the MBL provision could be added to the larger bill under the Senate’s strict rules about germaneness--which demands that the amendment be acutely relevant to the core bill. The core bill came to the Senate Floor via the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) introduced the core small business bill (S. 495), which would revise provisions and extend the funding of the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR). Objecting to the MBL amendment’s addition, Landrieu said that the Senate Banking Committee would have jurisdiction over MBL legislation. Udall’s MBL bill would, in part, increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union’s assets, up from the current 12.25%. His bill, Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011 (S. 509), currently has 17 sponsors. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) research has shown that the increased MBL cap could provide up to $13 billion to small businesses in the first year alone and create over 140,000 new jobs. CUNA underscores that these economic benefits come at no cost to taxpayers. CUNA Senior Vice President of Legislation John Magill reiterated Thursday that Udall’s action is “just the beginning” for MBL legislation this year. He said CUNA and credit unions are serious and engaged in the MBL effort, and are grateful that the Congress remains “keenly focused on this important credit union issue."