Lifting the credit union member business lending cap

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The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act (S. 2231/H.R. 1418) fits the bill perfectly. This bipartisan legislation would help small businesses gain access to much-needed credit by allowing credit unions to provide more loans to their small-business members. This common-sense measure could spur more than $13 billion in new lending and create more than 140,000 new jobs in the first year alone — at no cost to taxpayers. Currently, the legislation has over 140 cosponsors in the House and 21 cosponsors in the Senate from both sides of the aisle.



Raising the cap on credit union member business lending is a win-win for American small business and our economy. Throughout the financial crisis, credit unions have continued to be one of Main Street's most reliable financial resources. The average size of a credit union member business loan is just over $200,000 and many of these loans are made to small businesses that have been turned away by other lenders. Credit unions are making loans to mom and pop small businesses that need the funds and would like to do more but their hands are tied by this arbitrary lending cap. 

We hope that Congress will realize that restricting credit unions on the amount of business lending they can facilitate is counterproductive to job creation. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has said that the Senate will have to act on this legislation, and with the election now behind us, the time has come. Failure to act on this bipartisan, job-creating bill would represent a missed opportunity to maximize the availability of credit to American small businesses so that our nation can grow and prosper.



Stubbornly high unemployment, persistent stock market volatility and a lackluster housing market have heightened fears that we could be headed for another recession.  Simply put, our nation’s fragile economy desperately needs a jumpstart now and S.2231 remains the best untried option to help create jobs on Main Street.

Americans need jobs, so let’s pass this jobs bill now.



Becker is president and CEO of the National Association of Federal Credit Unions.