Credit union leagues in New York and Nevada aren’t planning to blitz the district offices of Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y) or Harry Reid (D-Nev.) while the two key players in the bid to raise the member business lending cap are home for a two-week recess.
Instead, the state trade organizations said they both plan to continue their “constant communication” with the lawmakers’ offices. However, neither said they would turn down opportunities for in-person visits.
Schumer was quoted by American Banker April 23 as saying a vote on S. 2231, which would raise the credit union member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets, wouldn’t happen until at least the second half of the year. That statement was a disappointment to credit unions, who had hoped to see a vote on the bill in April or early May.
Has Schumer, a co-sponsor of S. 2231, jumped ship to banks?
No, said the Credit Union Association of New York’s Mike Lanotte, senior vice president of association services and general counsel. He said Schumer is still “100 percent” in the credit union corner.
“We do not have any concerns with his support for the bill,” Lanotte said. “He’s reinforced his commitment to legislation, he’s been a true champion on this for us, and we have no doubt he will continue to do so.
Senate Majority Leader Reid would be the one to put S. 2231 up for vote on the Senate calendar, as he promised back in March he would do this year. Utilizing Rule 14, the Majority Leader exercised his right to expedite legislation, allowing it to bypass committee and go straight to the Senate floor for a vote.
Jeremy Empol, director of federal governmental affairs for the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, said Reid won’t introduce the vote on a whim; rather, he will first make sure “all his ducks are in a row.”
“He has to make sure it has the votes, and all his caucus members are taken care of and have no concerns,” Empol said, adding, “He’s in the process of doing that now.”
Empol said Reid, who is a co-sponsor of S. 2231, has “been incredibly supportive” of efforts to raise the member business lending cap. When asked if he thinks MBL will get a vote this year, Empol said if bill sponsor Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is “committed to having a vote, the chances are very likely.”
“Credit unions have 95 million members nationwide, and it’ll be hard to not give that many people the opportunity for a vote,” Empol said.