October 25, 2012
After months of planning, talking, writing, calling and advocating on behalf of the Small-Business Enhancement Act, the wait may soon be over for credit unions.
Anticipating a lame-duck Senate vote on the bill, which would increase the cap on credit union member business lending (MBL) from 12.25 percent of assets to 27.5 percent, the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) has called for a national fly-in the week after Thanksgiving to make one more timely push with legislators.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in March spoke out in favor of the MBL legislation and promised the bill would receive a floor vote in the Senate before the end of the year. After nearly seven months of coordinated credit union advocacy efforts, Reid reiterated his commitment last month to giving the bill a vote during the lame-duck session, reaffirming his original promise to CUNA President and CEO Bill Cheney.
“As recently as last week, Senator Harry Reid reiterated his promise for a vote on the MBL bill, and negotiations have begun with the Senator’s office about the timing of that vote,” said Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA) President and CEO Troy Stang. “At this point, our best chances for a vote will be the week of Nov. 26.”
According to Cheney, “this is our last and best chance to pass the member business lending [bill] in this Congress. We have been promised a vote, one that was reconfirmed as recently as yesterday. We must win the vote.”
The Association is organizing a small group of credit union advocates to hold targeted meetings not only with Oregon and Washington Senators, but also with key House members in anticipation of a companion bill.
“As promised,” Stang said, “we’ve been saving our final grassroots push for when a vote was imminent.” He said that credit unions can expect to see a call-to-action after the election as the movement once again goes “all in,” sending emails, making phone calls, gathering testimonials from small-business owners, and writing op-eds in support of the legislation.
“We cannot leave a single stone unturned in our effort to win the vote when it comes up,” Cheney stated.
Questions? Contact a member of the Association’s Legislative Affairs team: