Calling it a "zero dollar stimulus," NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz today urged the Senate to approve an amendment that would raise the cap on member business loans from 12.25% of assets to as high as 27.5% of assets.
"Small business has been, and will continue to be, a source of much of the employment growth and vitality in our economy, but clearly more needs to be done to give small businesses additional tools with which to do their jobs," she said in a statement. "Credit unions are well-positioned to provide small business with an important source of lending. However, credit unions are currently restricted in the overall amount of lending they can provide to members for business purposes.
The NCUA, CUNA and NAFCU have been speaking to lawmakers and their staffs to try to secure passage of the amendment, sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), to a bill aimed at increasing small business lending. The measure creates a $30 billion fund that community banks can access and use for lending.
The bill passed the House last month without the MBL amendment.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said he will allow Udall to offer his amendment if there is evidence of bipartisan support. Lobbyists for community bankers have said they will oppose the bill if Udall's amendment is included.