Legislation includes increased funding for NCUA’s CDRLF program, but passage remains uncertain.
Senate Democratic appropriators on Thursday proposed providing the CDFI program with $324 million in FY23—$29 million more than the program received during the current fiscal year.
That figure, contained in the Senate’s Financial Services spending measure, is $7.4 million less than the House has proposed for FY23 and $7 million less than the Biden Administration’s budget request.
The Democrats also proposed $3 million for the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) program. That is $1.455 million more than the program received during the current fiscal year.
However, it is $1 million less than the House called for and that the Biden Administration proposed in its budget.
Future of the Legislation
Senate Democratic appropriators released their FY23 funding measures Thursday morning, but it is unclear when they will go to the floor. The House has passed its FY23 Financial Services bill as part of a larger bill containing several appropriations measures.
“It is my hope that by releasing these bills and making clear what the priorities of Senate Democrats are, we can take a step closer toward reaching a bipartisan compromise after months of stalled negotiations,” said Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Senate Appropriations Committee ranking Republican Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., was not optimistic that the bills can pass the Senate.
“If we are going to get full year bills during this Congress, Democrats must commit to a bipartisan framework that abandons poison pills, preserves legacy riders, and demonstrates a serious commitment to our military,” he said.
Tracking the Impact of CDFI Program
In a report accompanying the Financial Services bill, Democratic appropriators stated that within 90 days after enactment of the bill, they want the CDFI Fund to issue a report on the impact the most recent CDFI awardees are having on the communities they serve.
The Democrats also asked for the CDFI Fund to place a high priority on persistent poverty counties and directed the Treasury Department to work with other regulators to develop a strategy to improve financial inclusion.
“The strategy should aim to broaden access to financial services among underserved communities and improve the ability of such communities to use and benefit from financial tools and services,” the Democrats said.