MBL Update: Senate Vote Remains on the Horizon as Advocacy Efforts Continue

Credit unions are continuing their strong grassroots push in support of S. 2231, a bill that would raise the credit union member business lending (MBL) cap to 27.5 percent of assets from its current 12.25-percent limit. But they will have to keep pushing.

S. 2231 remains on the Senate calendar, but it is unlikely that the measure will see a vote this week, as the Senate is resuming consideration of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization and plans to then take up postal reform. Congress goes on recess next week before returning to Washington, D.C., the week of May 7, at which point it will be in session for three weeks.

“Senate leadership remains committed to a vote on S. 2231 on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and these couple extra weeks simply give us additional time to solidify our support,” said Jennifer Wagner, vice president of legislative advocacy for the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA). “We need 60 votes to pass this bill in the Senate, and the banks only need 40 votes to defeat it. We want to ensure that this bill is brought to the floor with enough votes to pass it.”

The independent and community bankers will be in D.C. this week lobbying against S. 2231, known as “A bill to amend the Federal Credit Union Act, to advance the ability of credit unions to promote small business growth and economic development opportunities, and for other purposes.” Wagner stressed the importance of continued efforts in support of the bill, saying, “Our Senators must continue to hear from credit unions and small businesses on this issue.” And those efforts need to come from a unified front.

“There remain credit unions who are not engaged in our grassroots efforts because they aren’t up against their MBL cap or because they don’t currently have an MBL program,” Wagner said. “The question for every credit union across the country is, ‘Do you want to be able to make the decision about whether you can offer member business loans, or do you want the ABA to decide?’. If you want the option to make those decisions for your credit union, we need you to engage in this effort. It is about more than just business lending. It is about credit unions being able to decide what’s best for credit unions and not letting the banking industry control our fate.”

To date, Oregon and Washington credit unions have made more than 1900 contacts to their Senators using the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Grassroots Action Center.

“We are moving the needle,” Wagner said. “Please don’t stop.”

Wagner encouraged those who have already sent emails to now call the toll-free MBL number to share a message with a senator’s staff on this issue. Advocates can also call their senators directly at 877.642.4223. Talking points are shared on the call before the caller is patched through to the Senate offices.

 

Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team:
Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Advocacy
Mark Minickiello, Vice President of Legislative Affairs
Stacy Augustine, Senior Vice President & General Counsel

Posted in Advocacy News.