Nine Missouri credit union representatives joined more than 500 credit union advocates and small business owners from across the country for National Hike the Hill on November 27-28 to make a final in-person grassroots push the for credit union member business lending legislation. Missouri participants included two business owners and a credit union lending officer to share the member business lending story.
For everyone who was not able to visit Washington, D.C. for National Hike the Hill – the Missouri Credit Union Association asks for your help. Call Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and ask them to vote for S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
Credit Union National Association (CUNA) leaders continue to meet with and discuss this matter with staff and Senators, and the bill could come up at any time during the lame duck session. Credit unions are preparing for a vote – and your help to make that final push is needed.
ABOUT THE BILL:
S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act, will allow experienced business lending credit unions to continue to lend to their small business members. It would allow credit unions to lend an estimated additional $13 billion to small businesses in the first year, helping them to create more than 140,000 new jobs. In Missouri, that translates to $151.8 million in new business loans and 1,650 new jobs in the first year alone.
The banker lobby is running anti-credit union advertisements on local radio and Capitol Hill publications. They also plan to be in Washington, D.C. during credit unions’ Hike the Hill to oppose our efforts. In response to these ads, CUNA sent the following message to chiefs of staff, legislative directors and Financial Services aides on the Hill today:
Subject: Those Bank Ads
Have you heard those radio ads the banks are running on WTOP? Have you seen those ads in Politico and Roll Call?
To hear them tell it, credit unions are an anathema! The reality, however, is that for every $1 that the credit union tax status costs, credit unions provide $10 to their members in the form of lower fees, lower loan rates, and higher returns. It’s an investment in America that benefits even those who do not belong to a credit union.
Frankly, the level to which the banking lobby has sunk is not new, but it is sad. For years, the banks’ message to Congress is: “Help us, but not credit unions.” And, they’ve asked for – and received – a lot from Congress over the years.
The banks took billions of dollars of taxpayer money through TARP. They were given access to even more taxpayer money to lend to small businesses. They have an ambitious lame duck strategy – seeking extension of taxpayer backed unlimited deposit insurance coverage through the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Program. They will be back for more next year when the regulators finalize the Basel III regulations.
The opportunities for Congress to help the banks – big and small – never end.
But, the banking lobbyists are now asking Congress to do something that is just unimaginable. They want Congress to oppose expanded access to capital for small businesses. That’s right – they want Congress to oppose legislation (S. 2231 / H.R. 1418) that will make $13 billion in credit available to small businesses and help them create more than 140,000 new jobs in the first year.
The question for Congress is: should Congress enact the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act, expanding small business access to credit or should Congress yield to the lobbyists representing the banks that stopped lending during the crisis and force well-managed, experienced credit union business lenders to stop lending?
Congress put significant taxpayer resources toward saving the banks during the financial crisis; they provided taxpayer money to banks to encourage lending to small businesses. The banks have benefited from Congressional action and taxpayer subsidy, and they will be back for more.
Now, it’s time for Congress to make sure credit unions can continue to lend to their small business members. We encourage you to support the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
CONTACT SENATORS MCCASKILL AND BLUNT:
Please call Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt and ask them to vote for S. 2231, the Credit Union Small Business Jobs Act.
Call 202-224-3121 (Capitol Switchboard) OR 1-877-642-4223 (toll free).