March 09, 2012

CUs mobilized on Senate MBL bill

March 9, 2012 – NAFCU has mobilized its members in a grassroots campaign aimed at getting S. 509, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, attached to any proposed job creation bill in the Senate.

The House Thursday approved H.R. 3606, the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, on a vote of 390-23. While approved overwhelmingly, the bill is being characterized by Republicans as a major jobs bill but described by Democrats as a minor step in efforts to strengthen the economic recovery.

As passed, H.R. 3606 focuses largely on new capital sources for start-ups but includes some easing in bank rules as well. It does not include any MBL cap lift, which leaves Thursday's action as a "missed opportunity" in Congress' effort to promote new jobs without the use of taxpayer funds, said NAFCU President and CEO Fred Becker.

The bill was cleared amid ongoing opposition by banking trades, which have been papering lawmakers' offices with letters opposing an MBL cap lift and credit unions' federally tax-exempt status.

Becker, in an email call to action, said credit unions need to make lawmakers understand that an MBL cap lift is a key issue for them and that it must be coupled with any jobs measures receiving Senate consideration. "Anything less will represent another missed opportunity to maximize the availability of credit to American small businesses and help our economy recover," he said.

Credit unions can reach their senators by dialing the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121; or by using this website's Take Action tools.