Congress, President agree on funding for government thru Sept. 30
Congressional negotiators and President Donald Trump have reached an agreement on a spending measure to keep the federal government open through the end of fiscal year 2019. The legislation also includes funding for several credit union initiatives and language that covers CUNA priorities, including website accessibility guidance, Telephone Consumer Protection Act relief and expansion of opportunities for cooperatives to compete for State Department Contracts.
Funding for the federal government was scheduled to expire at midnight Friday, per the continuing resolution signed by Trump Jan. 27.
“We’re glad to see Congress and the administration come together to create a funding agreement through the end of the fiscal year that addresses many credit union priorities,” said CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle. “Credit unions performed admirable services for their members who were among the 800,000 federal workers affected by the recent shutdown, and though they were prepared once again if needed, we’re thankful that this assistance will not need to be deployed at this time.”
The bill would fund the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund at $250 million for the fiscal year and NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) at $2 million.
The CDFI Fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to certified CDFIs. It was funded at $250 million for fiscal year 2018, which CUNA successfully fought for after early drafts zeroed it out.
As of Nov. 30, credit unions make up 285 of the 1,066 certified CDFIs nationwide.
The CDRLF funds an NCUA revolving loan program and a technical assistance program.
In addition to the CUNA-supported funding levels, language requested by CUNA is included in the budget deal, including:
- Calling on the Department of Justice to clarify standards for website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act;
- Urging the Federal Communications Commission to clarify aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, including reviewing the definition of an automatic dialer and how businesses should treat re-assigned numbers; and
- Encouraging the Secretary of State to expand opportunities for cooperatives and other small businesses to compete for State Department contracts. CUNA worked with the World Council of Credit Unions to secure inclusion of this language.
Additional details can be found on CUNA's Removing Barriers Blog.