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News Now

Washington
MBL provisions could be long shot for stimulus bill
WASHINGTON (1/29/08)—The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) continues its work on Capitol Hill to encourage lawmakers to include two credit union-specific provisions in a new economic stimulus package, provisions which could add $5.7 billion to the economy at no cost to taxpayers. CUNA has presented information to both House and Senate leaders explaining how provisions to raise credit unions’ current member business lending ceilings and increase the minimum threshold for a qualifying member business loan could bring $5.7 billion of reasonably priced credit to borrowers. In a recent letter to lawmakers (see News Now, Jan. 25), CUNA outlined how adding the MBL provisions as written in the Credit Union Regulatory Improvements Act (CURIA< H.R> 1537) would “provide immediate stimulus for a targeted segment of the economy that may need assistance the most, specifically small business owners, at no cost to taxpayers." CURIA would raise credit unions' current member business lending (MBL) ceiling from 12.25% of assets to 20% of assets and increase the minimum threshold for a qualifying member business loan from $50,000 to $100,000. The bill has 142 co-sponsors in the House and has not yet been introduced in the Senate. “We continue to have conversations with legislative staffers on the Hill, especially on the Senate side,” Ryan Donovan, CUNA vice president of legislative affairs, said Monday. He noted that thousands of requests for inclusion in the stimulus package flooded Congress last week, but said that the fact that CUNA’s proposal to help the economy is revenue neutral makes it an exception among the many. “So far the House version of a stimulus package contains only six provisions--none of which are specific to credit unions. We continue to work on the House side, but are focusing our efforts in the Senate right now to see if that body is willing to work with a broader package of initiatives to help the economy,” Donovan said. Use the link below to access CUNA’s Jan. 23 letter to House and Senate leaders.


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