Sen. Reid Reaffirms Commitment to MBL Vote During Lame-Duck Session

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in March spoke out in favor of The Small-Business Enhancement Act, legislation that would increase the member business lending (MBL) cap from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent, and promised the bill would receive a floor vote in the Senate before the end of the year.

After nearly seven months of coordinated credit union advocacy efforts, Reid reiterated his commitment last month to give the bill a vote during the lame-duck session, reaffirming his original promise to Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President and CEO Bill Cheney.

Credit unions should expect to see a Senate vote on member business lending (MBL) legislation sometime between November 13, when Congress goes back in session, and the end of the year.

 “Our primary hurdle at this point is procedural,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) Vice President of Legislative Advocacy Jennifer Wagner. “Sen. Reid’s promise is just one example of the broad support for our bill. It has been a long process, but we are continuing to move forward with the understanding that a vote will happen and that our chances are very good.”

Wagner said the Association will not issue an all-in call-to-action until there are at least strong indications that a vote will be announced, but she encouraged credit unions to continue waving the flag in support of MBLs—particularly with Congress in recess and legislators campaigning in their home districts—by sending emails and reminding elected officials of the importance of the MBL bill.

“As soon as we have a time frame for a vote, we will get that word out immediately,” Wagner said. There is a tentative Hike the Hill planned by CUNA (national fly-in) t scheduled for the week of November 26, but the date can’t be confirmed until after the election. While the association won’t be putting together an official hike, Wagner will attend with a small group of interested advocates. When a vote is set to take place, there will also be a Northwest delegation on hand for the vote.

 

While Congress is in recess and campaigning, CUNA and the NWCUA encourage credit union advocates to do the following:

  • Contact every House and Senate district office with the message that H.R. 1418 and S. 2231 are necessary for credit unions, job creators and the economy
  • Send the latest Action Alert message to the DC offices.
  • Continue to attend Town Hall meetings and campaign events
  • Ask for support from non-cosponsors
  • Thank the legislators who are cosponsors for their support and urge them to talk with their colleagues about signing onto the legislation.
  • Remind legislators that there will be a vote on MBL in “lame duck” and that credit unions want their support.

CUNA’s toll-free number is still active (1-877-642-4223), so credit unions can encourage members to call lawmakers as well, and with revised MBL Action Alerts to both the House and Senate on CUNA’s Grassroots Action Center, credit unions can also continue to ask small-business owners to write to tell their stories.

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
Pam Leavitt, Policy Advisor

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