CUNA is making a major push to get member business lending legislation approved by Congress during what is expected to be a robust lame duck session of Congress.
During a conference call with leagues and credit unions, CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney said the association’s lobbyists have repeatedly heard “after the election” when talking to members of Congress about the legislation which would raise the MBL cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5%.
“If we quit, we lose, but if we fight, we can get this done,” Cheney said.
CUNA has scheduled a national Hike the Hill for Nov. 27-28 in Washington. Cheney said that while there are currently 400 people signed up for the hike, “we need more than a thousand.”
MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said that credit unions need an all-out blitz on Washington to get the legislation passed.
“Those in the credit union movement know how important legislation to raise the MBL cap is,” Adams said. “Credit unions have an unprecedented opportunity to get increased authority to help small businesses and Michigan's economy now.”
Cheney said that one piece of good news is that MBL is on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s to-do list for the lame-duck session.
“It’s a long list, but the good news is we’re on it,” Cheney said.
Reid promised last spring to bring MBL up for a vote in the Senate and he has reiterated that support since then, CUNA has said.
Ryan Donovan, CUNA’s vice president of legislative affairs, said with the possibility of getting a vote increasing, the request is simplified. Before, CUNA was seeking cosponsorship; now the question is whether they will support bringing MBL to a vote.
“The ask is pretty simple: ‘Will you support the Udall bill and help us move it to a vote?’ ”
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., is the primary sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.
Donovan said the most likely scenario is for CUNA to look for a bill to which it can attach MBL.
But Cheney reiterated that credit union support in Washington could be critical to getting the bill moving.
“If this thing takes off … that’s the momentum we need to push it over the line,” Cheney said.
If you are interested in attending Hike the Hill, contact Kieran Marion, vice president of governmental affairs, at Kieran.Marion@mcul.org.