Credit Unions Encourage Lame Duck Congress to Pass Legislation for Jobs, Small Businesses
Twenty-six northwest credit unions are at or managing to the member business lending cap as credit union advocates prepare for another visit to Congress next week. With more than 140,000 new jobs possible in the first year, passing the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act could be just the ticket a divided Congress could agree on.
November 20, 2012
A vote on S. 2231 is still expected this year, as a lame duck Congress winds down the 2012 session. The Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) is partnering with the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) for next week’s Hike the Hill, a “best and final” push for passing legislation to lift the lending cap from 12.25 percent of a credit union’s assets to 27.5 percent.
“We have several targeted meetings arranged with key federal legislators,” said Jennifer Wagner, Vice President of Legislative Affairs for the NWCUA. “We’re thankful for strong Northwest support. Senators Wyden and Merkley have committed their support, and when the legislation makes its way to the house the bill’s co-sponsors, Representatives Schrader, Blumenauer, Herrera Beutler and Bonamici will stand with us.”
The legislation would create an estimated 2,500 jobs in Oregon and 7,000 new jobs in Washington in the first year alone, according to estimates prepared by CUNA economists. The average size of an MBL in the Northwest is just over $260,000.
Wagner noted that 86 Northwest credit unions currently offer Member Business Loans. “More of them would open those doors to members if Congress will pass the legislation. It will allow more well- managed credit unions to make the loans,” she said.
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