Monday, December 20, 2010 11:00:36 AM
WASHINGTON - Even as the Senate legislative calendar is compressed with the end of the year fast approaching, and has been dominated by such urgent issues as deciding the fate of Bush-era tax cuts, credit union issues still came front and center of lawmakers' attention this weekend.
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) Sunday requested unanimous consent on the Senate floor for his bill, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act. The bill would increase the MBL cap to 27.5% of a credit union's assets, up from the current 12.25%.
Under this procedure, it takes just one senator's objection - even if just objecting to the procedure itself - to derail the legislation's immediate progress. That objection came from Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.).
However, Udall's floor statement in favor of the legislation once again underscored for his colleagues the economic benefits the MBL cap lift would provide, noting that CUNA "estimates that these sensible reforms would increase small-business lending by $10 billion within the first year of enactment."
"This new access to credit is also expected to produce over 100,000 jobs nationwide. To me, it sounds like a pro-business, pro-jobs policy that we can all agree on."
Udall also reminded that the MBL increase has the backing of the Senate Banking Committee, the U.S. Treasury Department, and NCUA.
CUNA commended Udall for his effort. Although the Senate and House are poised to recess for the year, when the 112th Congress convenes in January capital reform will be CUNA's top priority while the trade group continues to work on MBL with key supporters, Cheney vowed.