Bill with CDRLF Funding, Increased CDFI Fund Passes Subcommittee

The House Appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government passed its legislation for fiscal year 2020 Monday night, legislation with several important credit union priorities addressed. The House Appropriations Committee is expected the begin marking the bill up starting Tuesday.

The bill would fund the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $300 million for FY2020, a $50 million increase from last year's $250 million. CUNA and the state leagues advocated strongly for the increased amount.

The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and other awards to certified CDFIs. As of May 1, credit unions account for 291 out of 1,083 certified CDFIs nationwide.

The legislation would also fund NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund at $2 million for the CDRLF, which funds a credit union revolving loan program and a technical assistance program.

The legislation also contains language that would provide limited protection for financial institutions that serve legal cannabis businesses, by not allowing any funds appropriated in the bill to be used to penalize a financial institution providing services to such businesses.

CUNA and the state leagues support legislation that would allow credit unions and other financial institutions to serve these businesses, including both the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Banking Act (H.R. 1595; S.1200) and the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act (S.1028).

The House version of the SAFE Banking Act passed the House Financial Services Committee in March. The bipartisan bill currently has 191 cosponsors including eight from New Jersey, Reps. Donald Norcross (D-1), Jeff Van Drew (D-2), Tom Malinowski (D-7), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), Albio Sires (D-9), Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), Mikie Sherrill (D-11) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12). The Senate bill has 30 cosponsors including Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ).