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Michigan Credit Union League Home » Information Services » Publications » News Articles  

MBL Fails in 2010 Congress   (Misc News: December 20, 2010)

It would appear that the member business lending bill will have to wait until the next Congress.

Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., offered his bill, Small Business Lending Enhancement Act, on the Senate floor under the unanimous consent procedure, which requires no objection in order to proceed to a floor vote, but Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., objected, preventing the vote. Shelby gave no reason for his objection.

"The Credit Union National Association estimates that these sensible reforms would increase small-business lending by $10 billion within the first year of enactment, with an increase of nearly $200 million in my home state of Colorado alone, just as an example,” Udall said on the Senate floor.

"This new access to credit is also expected to produce over 100,000 jobs nationwide. To me, it sounds like a pro-business, pro-jobs policy that we can all agree on."

Udall’s bill would increase the member business lending cap from 12.25 percent to 27.5 percent of a credit union’s assets.

Congress is in the middle of a busy lame duck period as it tries to wrap up its session before Christmas. In fact, many are predicting Congress will not shut down until Christmas Eve.

“We knew going into this final week of the lame duck Congress that passage of our MBL would be a very tall order.  And it is noteworthy that the Senate devoted time to the MBL bill amid all of its hectic action on tax cuts, Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell, immigration, food safety, etc.,” CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney wrote in a letter to credit unions.

Cheney said CUNA will continue lobbying for MBL in the next Congress alongside its top priority, capital reform.

He said the bill’s main movers, Sen. Udall and Harry Reid, D-Nev., are still behind it, as are the 17 cosponsors.

“With unemployment still in the 10% range and small businesses still in need of options for credit, the public policy rationale for our MBL legislation is as valid as ever.” Cheney said.

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