The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday passed the fiscal year 2021 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act. The bill contains funding for several credit union priorities, as well as other provisions relevant to credit unions.
The bill funds the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $273.5 million, an $11.5 million increase from last year. CUNA has called for $300 billion in funding.
The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to CDFIs for community development initiatives such as small businesses, community facilities, and low-income housing. As of July 13, there are 311 credit union CDFIs out of 1,129 nationwide.
CUNA has also called for a $1 billion appropriation for the CDFI Fund to be included in the next round of COVID-19 relief legislation. A House-passed bill contains that amount.
NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) is funded in the legislation at $2 million for fiscal year 2021. This is a $500,000 increase from the last fiscal year.
The CDRLF assists credit unions serving low-income communities to provide financial services, stimulate economic activities and operate more efficiently.
The bill also contains a provision prohibiting any funds in the legislation from being used to penalize a financial institution providing services to legal hemp and cannabis-based businesses.
Another provision encourages the U.S Postal Service to carry out pilot programs to expand postal banking services. CUNA has written to Congress recently noting that credit unions are already well-positioned to provide those services, and called on Congress to encourage the use of credit unions rather than expanding the functions of other agencies, including the U.S. Postal Service.