FEDERAL WAY, Wash. (9/10/13)--Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.) offered a firm endorsement of credit unions last week, saying she "strongly supports the not-for-profit, cooperative nature of credit unions and the services they provide to their members in the Northwest and across the country," the Northwest Credit Union Association reported.
DelBene made her statement of support for credit unions when she announced she will become the second member of the Washington delegation to co-sponsor the Credit Union Small Business Job Creation Act when Congress reconvenes this week (Anthem Sept. 5).
H.R. 688 would raise the cap on the amount of money credit unions can lend to small-business members. Currently, credit unions--many of whom were originally chartered to make business loans--can only lend up to 12.25%--of their assets to businesses. The bill would raise that cap to 27.5%, creating an estimated 140,000 new jobs nationally at no expense to taxpayers, according to the Credit Union National Association.
More than two dozen Northwest credit unions are managing close to the current cap, said Jennifer Wagner, NWCUA vice president for legislative advocacy. Others offer no business lending programs "because the start-up costs are significant and the 12.25% cap limits them enough to not make the investment worthwhile," she said.