In the wake of Friday’s report that unemployment remained at 9.1% for the third consecutive month, there will be efforts this week on the House and Senate sides of Capitol Hill to move policy proposals aimed at bringing that number down.
For credit unions, the most important development will be Wednesday’s hearing before the House Financial Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit on legislation to raise the cap on member business loans from 12.25% to as much as 27.5%.
Lobbyists for CUNA and NAFCU have said they are still working with their congressional allies to find a vehicle to which to attach the measure. It is sponsored by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and so far has 79 cosponsors.
On Tuesday, the Senate is scheduled to take up President Obama’s job creation bill, though no Republicans have expressed support for it and not all Democrats in the chamber support it. Therefore, it is likely have trouble passing since the rules of the chamber let the minority put up procedural blocks so that a bill needs 60 votes to pass.
Obama didn’t include the MBL hike in the bill, which funds a jobs creation package by levying a tax increase on high-income individuals.
Senate Democrats favor including a provision for 5.6% surtax to a taxpayer’s modified adjusted gross income in excess of $1 million or $500,000 in the case of a married individual filing a separate return. But any tax increase is a nonstarter for Republicans.
The Senate bill raising the cap on MBLs is sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and has 21 cosponsors.
Three credit union industry executives are schedule to testify at Wednesday’s House hearing: Gary Grinnell, president and CEO of the $636 million Corning CU in Corning, N.Y., is testifying on behalf of NAFCU. Mike Hanson, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Credit Union Share Insurance Corp., and Jeff York, president and CEO of the $630 million Coasthills FCU in Lompoc, Calif., are testifying on behalf of CUNA.
NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz also will appear. She endorsed the measure when she appeared the Senate Banking Committee in June.