In separate letters, CUNA and NAFCU both urged the House Financial Services Committee to raise the cap on member business loans.
"America's credit unions and their 93 million members stand ready to be part of the solution to the economic problems our nation faces. To that end, we encourage you to make increasing the credit union member business lending cap a key part of the committee's plan to promote economic recovery and job creation," CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney wrote the panel.
NAFCU Executive Vice President B. Dan Berger stressed the benefits to the overall economy from raising the cap.
"By artificially restricting the ability of credit unions to lend, the strength of the overall economy and health and well being of small businesses suffer. While there are a number of credit unions at or approaching the cap, many more have capital to lend but have not fully developed their business models because of the very existence of this arbitrary ceiling,'' he wrote.
The current cap is 12.25% and last year the Obama administration endorsed a proposal that would have allowed the cap to go as high as 27.5% of assets, if credit unions met certain criteria. However, that legislation was not taken up in the last Congress.
The letters from CUNA and NAFCU to the House Financial Services Committee were sent in conjunction with the panel's hearing today on job creation.