11:45 AM EDT

Walter Minnick, D-ID 1st

Mr. MINNICK. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Chairman, this amendment, while short in length, is extremely important to the commercial banking industry and to small business in my State and all of the United States. What it does is adds commercial real estate to the category of assets that can be covered by small business loan guarantees and increases the amount of those assets up to $10 million.

This allows a category of assets that is now being held by small business men throughout the country, a category that is very large that needs to be refinanced because commercial real estate loans are short term and banks simply do not have the capacity in the current market to finance and process all of the commercial loans that need to be reprocessed over the next 3 to 5 years. By making these smaller loans that our community banks have made to strip shopping centers, to restaurants, to small

business, making them more liquid by applying a Federal guarantee, they will be able to sell these loans in the market. The bank will get cash and be able to make another commercial loan.

So this is a very important piece of legislation, an important component of the Small Business Lending Act that will do more, I think, than any other single thing in terms of getting our banking system functioning again and providing credit to the entrepreneurs and small businesses across this country who will fuel the economic recovery and create the jobs that will bring us out of this recession.

I urge my colleagues to accept this amendment, and I reserve the balance of my time.

11:47 AM EDT

Randy Neugebauer, R-TX 19th

Mr. NEUGEBAUER. Mr. Chairman, I seek time in opposition, although I am not opposed to the amendment.

The CHAIR. Without objection, the gentleman from Texas is recognized for 5 minutes.

There was no objection.

11:48 AM EDT

Randy Neugebauer, R-TX 19th

Mr. NEUGEBAUER. I appreciate the gentleman's point here of trying to create a new source of capital in commercial real estate at a time when there is a significant amount of stress on our community banks. Financing for commercial real estate, particularly the smaller loan market that serves small businesses, has been limited. The commercial mortgage-backed securities market, the CMBS market, which accounted for nearly 50 percent of the commercial real estate lending in 2007, remains dormant.

So while I continue to believe the $30 billion lending fund will not improve lending for small businesses, I do not oppose the gentleman's amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

11:48 AM EDT

Walter Minnick, D-ID 1st

Mr. MINNICK. I thank the gentleman.

I would urge my colleagues to endorse this amendment and ask that it be added to the bill.

I yield back the balance of my time.

The CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Minnick), as modified.

The amendment was agreed to.



The CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 5 printed in part C of House Report 111-506.