The Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2019, which passed subcommittee, funds critical government programs and also includes numerous regulatory relief provisions for credit unions and banks. While this legislation will face difficulty in the Senate, this bill continues to build upon CUNA’s Campaign for Common-Sense Regulation.

In the funding portion of this draft bill, $191 million is directed to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. This is similar to the $190 million provided in last year’s subcommittee draft for fiscal year 2018. Working with our allies in Congress last year, that figure was increased to $250 million by the time the president signed the legislation into law. We will repeat that strategy and success again this year. Examples of CDFIs include community development banks, community development credit unions, community development loan and venture capital funds, and microenterprise loan funds. CDFIs are required to provide a 1:1 match for most of the awarded funds, which are offered on a competitive basis. CDFIs finance community development initiatives such as small businesses, community facilities, and low-income housing.

The Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) is funded at $2 million in this draft. In last year’s subcommittee draft for fiscal year 2018, this program received no funding. However, in the full committee markup last July, CUNA worked with Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA) and FSGG Chairman Tom Graves (R-GA) to include $2 million in the “Manager’s Amendment” to fully restore funding to the CDRLF. Because of CUNA’s work last year and our advocacy since then, the FSGG Subcommittee chose to fully fund this program in its initial FY 2019 draft released today. The CDRLF assists credit unions serving low-income communities.

For the Small Business Loan Administration, the draft provides the same maximum loan limit of $30 billion for the Section 7(a) loan program. It also directs the SBA to provide the same FY2018 Section 504 Loan Program maximum loan limit of $7.5 billion. Credit unions make both 7(a) and 504 loans.

Most importantly, this bill draft does not place the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) under the Congressional appropriations process. Such a provision was included in last year’s Subcommittee draft and CUNA worked with Congressman Mark Amodei (R-NV) to offer a successful amendment to strip that provision when the full House of Representatives considered the bill.

Read the full Washington Wire here.