WASHINGTON-In marking-up the American Small Business Emergency Relief and Recovery Act of 2001 (H.R. 3230), the House Small Business Committee has added an amendment clarifying that federally-insured credit unions are eligible to participate in the Small Business Administration's (SBA's) emergency loans guarantee program. NAFCU sponsored the amendment, which was offered by Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio). The legislation is on a "fast track," according to NAFCU lobbyists, because of the September 11 events. However, it still needs to be approved by the full House, possibly as soon as next week, and then voted upon by the Senate. As an emergency bill, the authority included in it is scheduled to sunset after one year. "This is an important step in attaining NAFCU's goal of securing general SBA 7(a) guaranteed lending authority for all federally-insured credit unions," NAFCU Senior Vice President and General Counsel Bill Donovan noted. Because credit unions do not serve the general public, the SBA has been cautious about granting them SBA backed loans due to discrimination concerns.

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