CUNA Continues MBL Fight

Bipartisan groups sign open letter to Congress at CUNA’s urging.

December 2, 2010

At the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) behest, the Heartland Institute, Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Americans for Tax Reform sent an open letter to Congress, encouraging elected officials to support raising the cap on member business lending (MBL) from 12.25% of assets to 27.5%.

“We’re not giving up on this critical issue,” says CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney. “We need to continue to push senators, especially Republican senators, to support this bipartisan legislation.

The open letter noted that raising the MBL cap would:

  • Come at no cost to taxpayers; it would simply unleash free enterprise by eliminating a burdensome regulation; and
  • Help the economy by giving small businesses access to much-needed credit.

The letter also acknowledged that credit unions have continued to lend to small businesses and others while banks have cut back on extending credit.

CUNA has made some progress in attracting support for the legislation. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) recently co-sponsored S. 2919 (the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2009), and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) cosponsored the version of this legislation that was introduced as an amendment to another bill.

This brings the total number of senators publicly supporting the legislation to 16. “That’s quite a number,” Cheney says, “but we need more. Continued outreach to sitting senators is critical at this time.”

Regardless of whether the MBL bill passes this year, it’s critical to use the current lame duck session of Congress to meet with newly elected senators and representatives at home before the banks win them over, Cheney adds.