WASHINGTON — The timing is perfect for credit unions to lobby their congressional representatives to lift the business lending cap, CUNA Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan told the Monday afternoon general session of the GAC.
Not only is Congress in the middle of its last meaningful session before the November election, he said, but senators know S 509, sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), will go to a vote this year.
“We’ll need 60 votes to get the Udall bill through the Senate,” Donovan said, “and your mission is to get those votes.”
Some senators will question whether or not adding more business loans to credit union portfolios is good for safety and soundness, Donovan said. He noted that NCUA Chairman Debbie Matz testified before the Senate that the loans would help credit unions diversify their lending portfolios.
Specifically, Donovan advised attendees to remind senators that the average credit union business loan is only $219,000. Credit unions won’t, as bank lobbyists said, make loans for shopping centers and sports stadiums.
A secondary goal for GAC is “get the conversation started” about supplemental capital, Donovan said. An important point to stress with lawmakers is that supplemental capital would put a buffer between credit unions and the share insurance fund.