CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney had a disparaging response to the NCUA’s decision to increase to five vehicles the definition of a fleet for business lending underwriting, saying member business lending legislation is a higher priority.
In a release, Cheney said CUNA values the agency’s “effort to lighten the load” of regulatory burden, but countered that the best way to help credit unions meet business loan demand and help the economy recover is the passage of S. 2231, which would raise the member business lending cap to 27.5% of assets.
“Frankly, there are limits to what NCUA can do; it is hard to foresee an action that the agency could take which ultimately would have the impact that passage of business lending legislation would have for small business and for credit unions,” Cheney said. “Passage of this vital legislation remains our top priority.”
CUNA’s Senior Vice President of Legislative Affairs Ryan Donovan told Credit Union Times the association is continuing to push MBL because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has told them he wants “to make a run at it” during the lame duck session.
It’s too early to know how the lame duck vote would present itself, Donovan said, or the overall effectiveness of the session itself, depending upon who wins the White House.
“But if we stop, we lose,” he said.
Executive Vice President of Governmental Affairs John Magill said after the election, the unwillingness of members of Congress to pick sides between credit unions and banks will “dissipate significantly.”
And, Donovan said should the lame duck session produce a vote, CUNA has “more confidence in the vote count than ever.”
Donovan said he disagreed with Rep. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) who told a NAFCU Congressional Caucus audience Sept. 14 she felt credit unions didn’t make their case on Capitol Hill that raising the MBL cap was really necessary.
CUNA has had a number of conversations with Capito, Donovan said, “and I think we’ve made an effective case.”
Magill said he also disagreed with Capito’s assessment of credit union lobby efforts. He said he would speak with her and “continue to make the case to her over and over again.”