Since many Democrats running the White House and United States Senate are pushing for more regulation and bigger government, major victories for economic freedom like the repeal of President Obama’s healthcare plan and wholesale, free-market reform of the tax code aren’t likely in the near future. That’s why anyone who favors a freer, less regulated economy, should take victories where they can find them. And it’s why conservatives should flock to support an effort to deregulate credit union lending. It’s one of the best things Congress can do to create jobs and help small business in the short term.

Some background first. The bill in question is called the “Small Business Lending Enhancement Act,” and by the standards of a body that seems to enjoy passing indecipherable 500-page monstrosities, it’s a surprisingly succinct and lucid piece of legislation. In a few short sentences, the bill lifts the cap on the percentage of assets credit unions may lend to businesses from 12.25 percent to 27.5. This is wonky stuff, but it’s important. Credit unions, democratically run, member-oriented financial cooperatives, often extend credit to groups having a difficult time getting it from banks. Right now, they are sitting on millions of dollars they could lend to job creators if only Congress would repeal the regulations stopping them from doing it.

And there’s no doubt the current restrictions on lending have real consequences. A recent study from Malibu’s Pepperdine University shows that nearly 60 percent of small business owners who applied for bank loans during a one year period got turned down.  Data from the Small Business Administration, likewise, shows credit unions often lend to types of business that can’t get bank loans. If just a small fraction of the businesses got credit and started creating jobs, California’s still-too-high unemployment rate could start coming down. Keeping dated regulations in place makes sure that the number of businesses facing credit problems won’t go down soon. Repealing such regulations should be a commonsense move so obvious even liberals should support it.

Indeed, here in California that has happened as members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have flocked to support it. In the House of Representatives, conservative Republican Ed Royce (R-Orange County) is the lead sponsor of the bill in the Senate and both of California’s Democratic Senators have joined 19 of their colleagues—three Republicans and 16 other Democrats—in supporting the bill.

But the bill, expected to come up for a vote in the Senate soon, isn’t a shoe-in to pass. Quite simply, banks—which rightly complain about burdensome regulations they face—don’t like it.  They already control nearly 95 percent of the depository institution marketplace and, having taken more than a few licks recently, don’t want more competition from credit unions. Thus, big banks, small ones, and their trade organizations have managed to prevail over credit unions’ efforts to get the cap lifted in the past. All this creates jobs for lobbyists and preserves profits for some banks, but it doesn’t do much good for the country or the small businesses that need loans.

All of this, of course, is nothing new. Interest groups with narrow agendas have immense influence amongst both Republicans and Democrats. But removing burdensome restrictions on lending to small businesses makes sense for everyone.  Yes, banks may be a bit worse off for it. But, all-in-all, eliminating these restrictions is simply a matter of common sense.