CUs Hoping for Lame-Duck Vote on MBL (Misc News: November 2, 2012)
The credit union community is planning a major push to get a vote in the U.S. Senate on member business lending after the Nov. 6 presidential election.
While Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has continued to promise a vote on raising the MBL cap from 12.25% of assets to 27.5% during this Congress, legislative leaders have decided to hold off until they have the 60 votes needed to break a Senate filibuster.
But supporters believe the lame-duck period – the time after the elections but before the newly elected members of Congress take their seats – could be the perfect time to bring the issue to a vote. The measure has been cosponsored in both chambers by members on both sides of the aisle, but some members are worried about going against banks and their powerful and well-funded lobbyists.
A majority of Michigan’s members of Congress have signed on as cosponsors of MBL legislation in their respective houses of Congress. Both Michigan members of the Senate, Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, are cosponsors of the legislation and nine of 14 current U.S. House members are cosponsors. Only Republicans Dave Camp, Mike Rogers, Justin Amash, Dan Benishek and Tim Walberg have not signed on as cosponsors, although MCUL and CUNA have confirmed that at least some of them would support the measure if it comes to a floor vote in the House.
But before the House gets a chance to vote on MBL, the Senate must approve it.
"Time is running out for this Congress to pass our important, jobs-creating legislation,” MCUL & Affiliates CEO David Adams said. “We are hopeful that our Michigan delegation will continue to support this effort and we will bring a group of credit union leaders to Washington during the post-election ‘lame-duck’ session to shore up their support."
"Raising the arbitrary cap on credit union business lending is a logical solution to help Michigan's economy and small businesses around the country with access to much-needed capital. And the good news is this legislation will not cost taxpayers a dime. It should have bi-partisan support despite the opposition from the banking industry."
CUNA is working on events during the lame-duck session to support the hoped-for MBL vote, but will not announce specific plans until after the election.
In the meantime, credit union supporters are encouraged to reach out to their legislators and either thank them for their support of MBL or ask them to sign on as cosponsors. To send a letter to your member of Congress, click here. To send letters to Stabenow and Levin thanking them for their support, click here.
CUNA estimates raising the cap could pump $140 million into the economy and lead to the creation of 13,000 jobs in the first year alone.