Legislation that would increase the member business lending (MBL) cap for credit unions continues to have broad bipartisan appeal, with Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), two legislators on distant ends of the ideological spectrum, signing on as cosponsors in recent weeks.
Waters became one of 104 cosponsors of H.R. 1418, the Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011, when she signed on to support the bill on Nov. 18. The legislator in a House Financial Services subcommittee on financial institutions hearing on community banking said she is “very much involved” in the MBL issue, and added that she wants to work with Republicans “to do something” for credit unions and other small institutions. Waters also urged credit unions and community banks to work out their differences during the hearing.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO Bill Cheney testified during the hearing, suggesting that legislators add MBL cap increase language to a separate community bank regulatory relief measure, creating a bill that could “be embraced by all who serve businesses on Main Street.” Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), who is a main sponsor of H.R. 1418, also supported combining portions of the two bills. (See related Nov. 17 story: Cheney urges less CU reg burden at bank hearing)
Paul recently became the 21st cosponsor of Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) own MBL legislation, S. 509. Paul, who was supported by the Credit Union Legislative Action Council (CULAC) and the Kentucky Credit Union League, and also touted the support of over 700,000 Kentucky credit union members on his website, during his 2010 Senate campaign, is halfway through his first Congress.