WASHINGTON (4/24/12)--Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on credit union legislation to increase the member business lending (MBL) cap, a pledge reiterated Monday by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate.
"If the banks want to go to sleep on this legislation, that's fine with us," said Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney Monday in response to a report started by the New York Bankers Association that claimed Schumer had said the MBL bill has been pulled from the Senate voting calendar.
Sen. Schumer's office yesterday reiterated that the legislation is still on the Senate's agenda, with a voting date yet to be determined, and nothing procedurally has changed. Banks have been waging war against the MBL bill as CUNA, credit unions, small businesses, and consumer and businesses groups have ramped up their advocacy efforts in advance of a vote that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) also has said is coming.
"The fact is, Senate leadership remains committed to a floor vote on this bill, a promise Sen. Schumer reiterated again today," Cheney said. "Senators recognize our bill would create hundreds of thousands of jobs and inject billions of dollars into the economy--at no cost to taxpayers.
"Credit unions will continue to advocate for this bill with no letup. The bill remains on the Senate calendar, and we know that small business will continue to join us in the push for approval. After all, small business continues to need help finding credit--and more jobs are certainly needed in this economy."
Schumer has said that lifting the "job-killing" lending cap "would be a win" for small businesses.
S. 2231, like its counterpart introduced in the House (H.R. 1418), would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets, up from 12.25%.
Within the first year of enactment, the increased MBL authority would help to inject $13 billion in loans into the economy and create as many as 140,000 new jobs, with no cost to taxpayers, CUNA estimates show.
CUNA does not anticipate the MBL vote will come up for a vote this week. The House and Senate both begin a one-week Spring District Work Break on April 30, but then return for a three-week work session in Washington, D.C.