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CUNA, MCUL Push for MBL Support in Senate   (Misc News: March 28, 2012)

CUNA has issued talking points on member business lending legislation in the U.S. Senate and is planning an advertising blitz in hopes of pushing the measure through next month.

“Small businesses should have access to many alternative sources of capital, of which credit unions are one,” CUNA’s talking points on the MBL legislation says. “Credit unions are experienced, well managed, and have the capacity lend; therefore they should be allowed to do more lending.

“Failure to enact this legislation literally leaves money on the table that my small business might be able to use.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has promised a vote by the full Senate. While it looked like a vote was possible this week, it is now expected to take place after April 16 when the Senate returns from recess.

MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said passage of the bill is critical to improve the economy.

“Small businesses in Michigan and across America are the engines of employment and economic growth – and these small businesses need relief from a credit crunch that is holding them back,” Adams said Wednesday in a news release. “Michigan credit unions have consistently stepped up to support small businesses at a time when other lenders have stepped back. Credit unions can and want to do more to help get Michigan and America working and competing again, and that’s why it’s critical that the U.S. Senate pass the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill.”

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., introduced a new version of the bill, now known as S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Bill, under rules that allow it to bypass the Senate Financial Services Committee, where the bill was expected to die, and go straight to the Senate floor for a vote.

While Udall and Reid may look for an opportunity to attach the bill as an amendment to another bill, they may seek an up or down vote as a standalone bill. House leadership has indicated that they will wait to see what the Senate does before acting on the bill.

Both of Michigan’s senators, Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, and Carl Levin, D-Detroit, have signed on as cosponsors. In the House, Bill Huizenga became the ninth member of the Michigan delegation in the U.S. House to become a cosponsor of the legislation.

Previous Michigan co-sponsors include Reps. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph; Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township; John Conyers, D-Detroit; Gary Peters, D-Bloomfield Township; Dale Kildee, D-Flint; Hansen Clark, D-Detroit, and Thaddeus McCotter, R-Livonia, and Sander Levin, D-Royal Oak.

The league invites credit union executives to visit the MCUL CapWiz website to send a letter thanking their congressman for his or her sponsorship or to another of the state’s congressmen who are not currently co-sponsors. Michigan congressmen who are not currently on the bill are: David Camp, R-Midland; Dan Benishek, R-Iron Mountain; Tim Walberg, R-Tipton; Justin Amash, R-Cascade Township; Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, and John Dingell, D-Dearborn.

In total, the Senate bill has 21 cosponsors and the House version has 128.

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