The Small Business Lending Enhancement Act of 2011 gained seven additional cosponsors last week during the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Congressional Caucus general sessions in Washington, D.C.
The bill was introduced in April by Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) in an effort to raise the credit union member business loan cap to 27.5 percent of total assets, NAFCU.org reports.
On Sept. 21, seven members in the House of Representatives added their names to the list of cosponsors, including Tom McClintock (R-Calif.), Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), Judy Chu (D-Calif.) and Betty Sutton (D-Ohio).
On Monday, Reps. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.), Barbara Lee, (D-Calif.) and Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) singed onto the bill as well, giving the bill a total of 80 cosponsors.
The House bill has companion legislation in the Senate, which was introduced by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.). The Senate bill has 20 cosponsors and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kent.) said he will soon add his name to the bill, according to NAFCU.org.
The Senate Banking Committee held a hearing on the legislation in June and received support from both Republicans and Democrats.
“We just came through the worst credit crunch any of us have ever seen, and access to credit is still a significant issue for small businesses in NY and all over the country,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said during the hearing. “Even through the downturn, credit unions have continued to increase their business lending, but they are limited in their ability to do more. Senator Udall’s bill will provide a much‐needed boost to help small businesses expand and hire.”
Both bills are currently pending in their referred committees.