Mica Testifies on Potential Capital Access Program Funding (Misc News: May 18, 2010)
Following up on last November's House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations, Michigan Congressmen Gary Peters, Sander Levin and John Dingell have introduced legislation to help promote small business lending and create jobs. The "State Small Business Credit Initiative Act" (H.R. 5302), which aims to provide federal funding for state-based partnerships with financial institutions to help small businesses and especially smaller manufacturers access the credit they need to innovate and grow. The three representatives originally introduced similar legislation in February and have been working with the Administration on how best to address specific issues that have kept too many businesses from accessing credit. MCUL President and CEO Dave Adams testified at this hearing last fall on behalf of credit unions.
On Tuesday, Mica shared his views as the only credit union representative in front of the House Financial Services Committe on small business lending. In another positive development for the industry, Gene Sperling, counselor to Treasury Secretary Geithner, told Rep. Barney Frank that the Obama administration supports raising the MBL cap to 27.5 percent -- even higher than the 25 percent in the current House and Senate bills.
"In announcing that there would soon be a committee vote on credit union business lending legislation, the chairman was giving his committee members a heads up," Mica said. "We appreciate that, and will work with him for smooth consideration of this proposal. Credit unions can help the nation get back on its economic feet by having more capacity to make business loans."
Last Friday President Obama announced his support for a revised proposal, the legislation the three Michigan representatives have now introduced. The House Financial Services Committee is scheduled to vote on this and other small business lending legislation this week. “Michigan small business owners tell me they are ready to invest and create jobs again if they could just get a loan,” said Rep. Peters. “Wall Street banks won’t lend to Michigan small businesses and that is slowing job creation and hurting our recovery. We need an alternative way to get our entrepreneurs and innovators the credit they need to grow.” Adams urged members of the subcommittee to support increased funding for programs such as Michigan's Capital Access Program (CAP), in which all lenders can equally access and participate in the benefits. The MCUL and CUNA continue to urge members of congress to support expanding the MBL authority of credit unions as a way to inject additional capital into small businesses without using taxpayer funding. The MCUL praises Reps. Peters, Levin, and Dingell for their support of additional funding for small business risk mitigation programs.
In addition to additional funding for CAP programs, the administration has a proposal to direct repaid tarp funds to community banks, which is also scheduled for a hearing today at 1 pm CDT.
CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica testified at Tuesday's hearing on behalf of the credit union industry: CUNA News Now's story on Mica's testimony.
To access the committee agenda and written testimony, please click here. To access Congressman Peter's press release on this proposal, please click here.