HR 1418, a bill to raise the cap on credit union member business lending, now has 140 co-sponsors, according to Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) one of the bill's chief sponsors.
Royce revealed the new number in his remarks at an issue briefing on Wednesday sponsored by CUNA and The Hill newspaper that brought lawmakers, small business experts, credit union executives and small business owners together to make the case for lifting the credit union member business lending cap.
The event, was part of The Hill's "Issue Forum" series, and got under way with comments from Royce and Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.)
Udall, who was on his way to another event, spoke quickly and urgently about the need to funnel more capital to small businesses.
“It's the complaint I hear most often,” Udall noted, “how can we get access to capital?” He added, “If you are membership organizations, why aren't you allowed to do everything possible to help your members?”
Royce credited the growing number of co-sponsors with “the perception around here that there is a real need on the part of small business for additional sources of capital.”
Rhett Buttle of The Small Business Majority and Eli Lehrer of the R Street Institute presented data from a joint research report focusing on job growth, the role small business plays in the economy and the support that credit unions can offer to small business in the economy's recovery with expanded business lending authority.
“Even though we have seen some preliminary signs of hope of this year, there are
structural impediments that stand in the way of a full rebound: much small business bank lending comes from newly formed banks that lend to smaller enterprises as a way of building a loan portfolio in the first place,” the researchers wrote.
“And new institutions are not being created. FDIC has not charted a single new savings institution since 2009 or a single commercial bank since 2010. Between the mid-1990s and 2007, the FDIC would charter more than 100 commercial banks and a handful of savings institutions in a typical year.”