WASHINGTON (8/31/11)--In a message sent to credit union representatives this week, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) expressed his continued support for credit unions’ legislative priorities, including maintaining their not-for-profit tax status, relieving regulatory burdens, increasing the member business lending (MBL) cap, and easing access to supplemental capital. Sherman highlighted his continued support for the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011 (H.R. 1418), which would, in part, lift the MBL cap to 27.5% of assets, up from the current 12.25% limit. He underscored that the U.S. economy “needs more business loans, particularly to small businesses,” and that credit union representatives in his district tell him they “are ready to expand their member business lending.” He cited Credit Union National Association (CUNA) projections that the MBL cap increase would inject more than $13 billion in new funds into the U.S. economy, creating up to 140,000 new jobs in the first year of the cap lift. Increasing the credit union member business lending cap would not require an outlay of taxpayer money, CUNA said. Legislation to increase credit union MBL authority has been introduced both in the House and Senate, and Sherman pledged to “continue advocating for the government to simply get out of the way” of credit unions that are “eager to put their capital to work to help sustain” economic recovery. The legislator also said that credit unions “are too heavily regulated and unnecessarily restricted in the services that they may offer,” and added that he will continue his work to “ease the regulatory burden and other constraints on credit unions” to “enhance their ability to serve their members and their communities.” The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) must “submit a proposal to congress that would allow credit unions to raise capital from alternative sources,” Sherman added, saying that credit unions “must be part of the discussion” as new capital standards for other financial institutions are developed. Sherman in his message also said he would “continue to work to preserve the credit union charter and will vigorously resist efforts to tax credit unions,” adding that he strongly believes “the not-for-profit, cooperative nature of credit unions and the services they provide to their members and communities amply justify their continued tax-exempt status.” “Credit unions have a special mission, and they play a unique role in meeting the credit and savings needs of consumers – especially those persons with low and moderate income,” he noted. For the full message to credit unions, use the resource link.