May 04, 2017

Spending bill sent to president; NAFCU-sought CDFI funds intact

A $1.1 trillion spending package cleared by both the House and Senate, and containing NAFCU-sought funding for the Treasury Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and NCUA Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, was on its way to the president's desk Thursday for signature.

The Senate passed the bill Thursday on a vote of 79-18, one day after the House cleared it on a vote of 309-118. The measure is needed to prevent a federal government shutdown at midnight tonight.

"NAFCU strongly supports the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund and Community Development Revolving Loan Fund, both of which deliver much-needed resources for low-income-designated and CDFI-certified credit unions seeking to strengthen their operations and service to members," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. "We thank the leaders of the House and Senate for their action on this measure and look forward to its enactment."

The bill provides $248 million for the CDFI Fund program, with various amounts allocated for grants and technical and financial assistance to CDFIs. It provides $2 million to the CDRLF, which makes the funds available for initiatives such as expanding member services, funding risk-based lending programs, constructing branches in unbanked areas and providing financial education services.

In a letter to House and Senate leaders Monday, NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt wrote in support of the funding for the CDFI and CDRLF programs. She emphasized that CDFI-certified credit unions represent 27 percent of the total number of certified institutions and hold more than 50 percent of total CDFI assets.

Additional funds for national defense and border security, disaster and famine relief, and a permanent extension of health care benefits for certain miners are also provided in the spending package.