Senate Passes Lending Bill, but Eschews MBL Hike
The Senate last Thursday passed pass a small business lending bill-which includes a $30 billion fund to encourage community bank lending-but without a provision to raise the cap on member business loans from 12.25% to 27.5% of assets.
Lawmakers passed the measure 61-38. The amendment to increase credit unions' lending capacity, sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), was not among those that Senate leaders allowed to be considered.
Udall's amendment, which reflects the compromise, mandates that the NCUA implement a tiered approval process so that credit unions "gradually increase the amount of member business lending in a manner that is consistent with safe and sound operations." This process would be spelled out in proposed rules that the agency must issue within no more than six months after the bill is passed. (See the Opinion article, page 12.)
NAFCU President/CEO Fred Becker wrote lawmakers that the amendment would "be a tax-free victory for small business and our struggling economy. Lifting the cap would not cost taxpayers one penny, and it would give small business access to critically needed capital to grow and create jobs."