Initiative to provide over $25 billion in funding.
Democratic lawmakers are urging the EPA to ensure that CDFIs and MDIs receive grants as part of the agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
“In order to meet the objectives and principles outlined in the Implementation Framework, we believe eligible recipients must include meaningful involvement of a variety of financial institutions and business models, including clean financing institutions, community based-financing institutions, and other institutions designed to support clean technology deployment,” several lawmakers, including House Financial Services Committee ranking Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters of California and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., co-chair of the congressional Community Development Finance Caucus, wrote to EPA Administrator Michael Regan.
In February, the EPA announced it had rejected the idea of creating a single “green bank” to administer the Greenhouse Reduction Fund. That decision opened the program to already established financial institutions.
The fund will provide $20 billion for a General and Low-Income Assistance Competition, as well as $7 billion for a Zero-Emissions Technology Fund Competition.
In pushing for the participation of CDFIs and MDIs, the lawmakers wrote that those institutions “leverage capital and have a proven track record of providing products and service to the most underserved communities.”
CU Groups Endorse Transparency Legislation
Meanwhile, two House members this week introduced legislation that would require the CDFI Fund administrator to testify annually before the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee.
H.R. 3161 was introduced by Rep. John Rose, R-Tenn., and Brittany Pettersen, D-Colo.
Both national credit union trade groups endorsed the legislation.
NAFCU Vice President of Legislative Affairs Brad Thaler said in a letter to the lawmakers that recent actions by fund officials, including the months-long blackout period for new applications, have made it even more difficult for financial institutions to serve the communities that CDFIs are designed to support.
In a separate letter, CUNA President/CEO Jim Nussle wrote that the measure would ensure that the government and financial services providers remain focused on the mission of the CDFI program.