December 06, 2017

Wyden, Murkowski Bill to Grow Small Businesses and Local Economies Moves Forward

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, announced that their bipartisan legislation to boost local economies, jobs and small businesses passed the Senate Banking Committee.

The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act (S.836) would spur business and job growth in local communities by giving local credit unions more flexibility to offer loans to small businesses. The legislation would allow credit unions to treat loans for small residential buildings as residential loans with lower interest rates—similar to how banks already make those loans to small businesses.

“Our bipartisan bill puts credit unions on equal footing with banks when it comes to lending and investing in their local communities,” Wyden said. “It gives local credit unions flexibility to provide small businesses with the loans they need to grow their businesses and encourages community investment in affordable housing. It’s a no-brainer that when small businesses succeed, they create jobs and economic opportunities that benefit communities across Oregon and nationwide.”

“This legislation simply makes sense. By correcting this disparity, we are not only providing individuals with better access to loans, but also working to stimulate economic growth,” Murkowski said. “The countless Alaskans that use credit unions will have more access to financial services to meet their small business needs. A simple fix, resulting in a major win for those seeking financial assistance.”

Currently, credit unions are limited by a member business lending cap that banks are not subject to. Removing small residential loans from the business lending cap for credit unions would provide small business owners with better access to financial capital through credit unions.

The Credit Union Residential Loan Parity Act was included in a larger bill that passed the Banking Committee yesterday by a vote of 16 to 7.

Wyden and Murkowski introduced the bill with Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., in April.

In addition to the Northwest Credit Union Association, the bill has been endorsed by the Credit Union National Association and the National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Similar legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., Don Young, R-Alaska, and Jared Huffman, D-Calif.

Find the bill text here.