WASHINGTON — A Florida Congressman has introduced a bill that would make it easier for veterans to get access to member business loans at credit unions.

The bill by U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), HR 1133, is identical to last year's HR 5061, which would amend the FCU Act to enhance lending for veterans who want to start or finance a small business, according to a release from the League of Southeastern Credit Unions (LSCU). Loans made  to veterans under this bill would be exempt from the 12% MBL cap.

"If this legislation is passed into law, it would give military members much needed access to credit," LSCU President and CEO Patrick La Pine said in a statement. "This will help veterans to start a small business or to grow an existing one."

"With so many of our veterans possessing membership with credit unions, exempting them from this lending cap would allow veterans with an entrepreneurial spirit better access to capital," said Miller.

At least one Florida-based credit union CEO was in favor of Miller's efforts, calling the lawmaker "a great advocate for our veterans."

"Credit unions would love to do more to help veterans and their small business needs," said Stu Ramsey, president and CEO at Pen Air FCU in Pensacola. "This legislation is well thought out and should help our returning service men and women further their dreams."

LSCU said it is making the reintroduction of HR 1133 a priority in the current Congress, and La Pine said the bill is "one small way" to thank veterans for their service.

"Through Rep. Miller's leadership, veterans will have more opportunities to start and run small businesses, create jobs and stimulate the economy," he said. "Rep. Miller's commonsense effort to help our veterans should be recognized with the passage of this bill."

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