The Senate just voted to pass the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019. Credit Union National Association (CUNA) sent a letter to Majority Leader McConnell and Democratic Leader Schumer in support of the bill as it contains full funding levels for several federal programs that credit unions utilize.

“We thank the Senate for passing the bill, and for the attention of Senate appropriators to call for full funding for several important funds that credit unions are able to leverage to better serve their members and communities,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle.

The House approved its FSGG bill (H.R. 6174) last week which would provide full funding for the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Advocacy efforts from CUNA led to an increase of its funding level to $248 million in the final bill. The CDFI Fund was fully funded at $250 million in H.R. 1625, the Consolidated Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2018.

CDFIs such as Community Development Credit Unions are charged with supplying low-income, distressed communities with traditional banking services such as savings accounts and personal loans and offering individuals the tools needed to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future.  The CDFI Fund helps revitalize communities by using small amounts of federal dollars to leverage significant amounts of private and non-federal dollars.

The bill would also provide a funding level of $2 million for the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CFRLF). The CDRLF, a revolving loan and technical assistance program, gives credit unions the ability to serve underserved communities.

Additional funding includes:

  • A loan volume cap of $30 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) 7(a) program, which allows the government to guarantee up to 85% of loans, with the guaranteed portion not counting against credit unions’ cap on member business lending; and this amount is $1 billion more than Fiscal Year 2018’s enacted level of $29 billion; and
  • A loan volume cap of $7.5 billion for the SBA’s 504 loan program, which is used for long-term, fixed-rate financing on major fixed assets, such as equipment and real estate.