WASHINGTON (7/28/10)--In a Tuesday letter to Senate leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney said that credit unions would be forced to oppose pending job-creation legislation if that legislation does not include greater authority for credit unions to make loans to businesses. Cheney said that the U.S. Congress “will have left unused critical resources that credit unions could provide small businesses at no cost to the taxpayers" if member business lending (MBL) language is not added to H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Fund Act. Cheney noted that there is "no good public policy" reason to justify leaving credit unions out of the bill. The MBL amendment proposed by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) would lift the current cap of 12.25% to 27.5% of total assets. “Credit unions have proven for years that they are capable of doing this type of lending safely and soundly,” Cheney said. CUNA has estimated that lifting the cap even to 25% of assets would inject about $10 billion in new funds into the economy and create more than 100,000 new jobs, at no cost to taxpayers. There has been significant support for lifting the MBL cap in the media. And the Obama administration backs the increase, with the U.S. Treasury offering its own plans for an MBL cap lift in recent weeks, which was the basis for much of the Udall amendment. The small business jobs bill may come up this week for a vote, though it is not known whether leading senators can gather the votes needed to end debate on the measure and call for a final vote. CUNA and Udall will continue to work to attach the MBL provisions as an amendment to the small business legislation if it remains a viable option. For the full letter, use the resource link.