Credit Unions Play Waiting Game as S. 2231 Awaits Senate Vote

A vote on the Senate floor for S. 2231, the bill to increase the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL) from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent, has likely been delayed until this summer, but credit unions are continuing to advocate in favor of the measure.

“A vote on the MBL bill is still imminent,” said NWCUA Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner, “and right now, we are in a good position. We have to keep up a steady effort with our senators.”

Despite reports attempting to imply that the delayed vote indicates a lack of support, Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), the bill’s sponsor, remains confident that the S. 2231 will receive a vote on the Senate floor. In many ways, the bill’s current timetable is not uncommon and is merely indicative of the sheer number of different issues on the Senate’s plate.

“Sen. (Harry) Reid has promised a vote on this bill,” Udall told the Credit Union Times, “and I’m committed to making that vote happen. There is a busy Senate calendar this year, as I understand Sen. Schumer—a co-sponsor of the bill—was pointing out, but this will come to the floor for a vote.”

The all-important Senate vote has seemed at times like a mirage in a legislative desert, always on the horizon but never within reach. Wagner stressed, however, that trusting the process and continuing to march steadily in favor of expanded MBL capacity will ultimately be the key to seeing S. 2231 passed.

“The ‘all-in’ effort we began in late March got us where we are today, and that needed to happen,” Wagner said. “It’s hard to sustain that level of intensity, but we can’t let up, as the bankers are implementing an unprecedented grassroots effort. We’ve moved the needle with our Northwest senators, and that is due to the work we’ve done thus far. We have to keep this issue on the front burner. Slow and steady is going to win this race.”

Wagner said that the upcoming Senate recess represents an important opportunity for credit union advocates to continue applying this steady pressure, giving credit unions time to visit with their representatives in person while they spend time in their legislative districts. Supporters can continue to send emails through the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Grassroots Action Center and can continue sharing stories of local small-business owners who have benefited from credit union lending.

 

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

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