8.2.10: Thomas Wallace, President of IDS Corporation, Reports on HR 5297

On August 2, Tom Wallace, president of IDS Corporation, reported on the status of HR 5297, the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010. HR 5297, if passed, will create the Small Business Lending Fund Program and give the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury the authority to make capital investments in eligible institutions to increase the availability of credit for small businesses, amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to provide tax incentives for small business job creation, and for other purposes.

“Obviously, last week did not pan out as we might have hoped.  Missing cloture by a single vote now means that if our legislative package gets moved, it will be in September, when the House returns to session, or not at all.  However, in order to make even that come true, we need to have a cloture vote in the Senate, likely by August 10 or 11. That happy event consists of getting one more vote on the “side of the angels.” Senator George LeMieux (R, FL) has nominated himself for the role; however, last week, he failed to vote for cloture.

The industry needs to help lend some clarity to Sen. LeMieux’s thinking. Prospects/borrowers who have been or may be impacted by the failure to pass this bill need to contact the good gentleman from Florida.  He already knows, thanks in large part to your prior efforts, where the bankers stand on this matter.

Consider this: If your borrowers are paying higher fees (anyone in the queue!), needing larger loan sizes, and/or refinancing a commercial mortgage with a balloon, then they should contact Sen. LeMieux. Their message should be succinct and straightforward: “If you support a bill that you say is bipartisan and that you say the Senate should pass, why aren’t you voting for cloture and subsequent passage?” Ideally, the prospect/borrower should round this out by saying, “We employ x people in Florida and are looking to employ more, but need your support.”  Subtlety is over-rated at this point.

If each of you contacts a single prospect/borrower who would then send an email to Sen. LeMieux it could make a significant difference. Like the rest of you, I look forward to coming to work and not having CSPAN open on my computer all day.  If we push now, we might escape that fate for the balance of the year.

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