The United States Congress has took a step toward economically empowering Americans and strengthening communities with the introduction of the National Cooperative Development Act.
If passed, the legislation would establish a National Cooperative Development Center to provide capital, training and other resources to foster cooperative development throughout the 50 states of America.
Addressing economic development though cooperative development will advance the economic stability of local areas; increase the circulation of capital locally; and develop, attract and anchor new productive capital in urban and rural underserved communities.
The Bill has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services, from there the committee needs to report the Bill for consideration by the House. Following a vote by the House, the Bill will go to a vote at the Senate and, if the Bill succesfully passes these stages, it will go to the President for signing.
Congressman Fattah, Congressional leader for the national cooperative movement, said: "It's high time for cooperatives — a great idea that has come up from our urban neighborhoods and rural communities — to move onto our national radar. This legislation brings federal resources and policy priority to that effort. Cooperatives benefit the communities they serve while building opportunities for shared wealth. Cooperatives are truly vehicles for moving people into the middle class and creating economic growth."
National Cooperative Business Association President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Hazen said: "I thank Representative Fattah and the other co-sponsors of the National Cooperative Development Act for their leadership.
"They recognize that America needs more co-ops to bring jobs, strengthen communities and keep wealth local. This breakthrough legislation supports communities in both urban and rural areas by providing resources and tools for cooperative development. As the United States continues to struggle with unemployment, these leaders recognize that cooperative enterprise holds a key to building our economy."
Paul Hazen added that the Bill offers Americans an opportunity during the International Year of Cooperatives: "The National Cooperative Development Act comes along as the world prepares to celebrate social and economic contributions of cooperatives through the International Year of Cooperatives.
"Cooperative enterprises do build a better world, and this bill offers Americans an opportunity to build better communities and create sustainable jobs."