March 16, 2012 – Speaking on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that S. 509, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, will ultimately come before the Senate for a vote, but he gave no indication of when that may occur.
Reid said the MBL measure is not germane to the current jobs package under consideration – H.R. 3606 – and thus can’t be considered as part of the bill without unanimous consent of all senators.
There have been previous efforts to get a vote on an MBL cap lift, and “there has always been a reason not to do it,” Reid said. “This is a bill that presents problems for people because a number of banks don’t want it to happen. But I do, and I’m going to do everything I can to have this brought before the Senate.”
Reid isn’t new to proposals to raise the MBL cap lift. A cosponsor of S. 509 himself, he said he has been working with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., for years to help credit unions in this area. He said during the recent financial crisis, credit unions “have been a lifeblood for small businesses and individuals.”
“We’re going to have a vote on this bill,” Reid said. And “Democrats and Republicans are going to have to make a decision on whether [to] stand up for American credit unions.”
“We are pleased that the Senate majority leader has committed on the floor to have a vote on this critical legislation,” said Brad Thaler, NAFCU’s vice president of legislative affairs. “With this commitment, it remains important for credit unions to keep pushing their senators to support this legislation and stand up for credit unions.”
NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker urged Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and President Obama for support of an MBL cap lift in any jobs legislation. It's a "fail-safe" way to help spur new jobs without the use of any taxpayer funds, he wrote.
Becker also discussed the need for an MBL cap lift ("If not now, when?") in an opinion piece posted Thursday to The Huffington Post.
To contact senators on S. 509, dial the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121, or use NAFCU’s Take Action tools.