The start of a new Administration and Congressional session will usher in many new policies that will be introduced and debated in our nation’s capital over the next four years. The OFN Public Policy team is hard at work identifying how CDFIs will need to navigate the new political landscape, aligning our policy priorities to best support CDFIs, refining our key stakeholder outreach and engagement strategy, and ensuring that our CDFI brand is visible and included in the new Administration’s economic framework.
To ensure our industry is well positioned to continue to grow and serve our communities, OFN will scale its advocacy efforts so that the new Administration and members of the 115th Congress understand the CDFI model and the role CDFIs play in leveraging resources to create access to capital.
President-elect Trump’s transition team is getting ready to work with federal agencies to gather input. The agency specific information gathered will shape their “First 100 Days” plan and longer-term policy priorities. Last week, President-elect Trump announced some of the teams that will work with federal agencies during the transition, including the U.S. Treasury Department. Then, on November 30, President-elect Trump announced his pick for U.S. Treasury Secretary, Steve Mnuchin.
Once President-elect Trump announces his fully developed policy priorities, OFN will work with key industry partners to assess how the work of CDFIs aligns with his Administration’s priorities. In the interim, current activities and nominees are beginning to shape what the focus will be for the Trump economic team in 2017. This information and our future full analysis will assist us in finding common language that will communicate our industry’s priorities in a manner that is pleasing to hear, easy to repeat, and exciting enough to support. Understanding what resonates with the Trump Administration will enable us to show how CDFIs fit in their implementation plan for economic growth and in deploying capital where it is needed most.
The Trump Administration will impact the policy priorities of the 115th Congress as well as the Congressional calendar. The first sign has been the proposed extension of the Continuing Resolution (CR) for FY17 from December 9 to April 2017. There are discussions taking place in the nation's capital about extending this deadline even further into 2017. These extensions enable Congress to do two things: First, it will have more time to finalize the budget and incorporate President Trump’s Administration priorities for the remainder of FY17. Second, it will give Congress time to start the confirmation process for approximately 1,200 political appointees, including Cabinet Members like the U.S. Treasury Secretary, before having to negotiate on the budget. Starting the confirmation process early is crucial since these political appointees will not be able to start their posts until the Senate confirms their nominations.
The political landscape in 2017 is complex due to a new Administration’s developing policy priorities, the federal government budget constraints, and changes in Congressional leadership, including three positions in the Senate and House Appropriations Committees. They are:
- Senate Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) is retiring
- House Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) is stepping down due to term limits
- House FSGG Chairman Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) is retiring
OFN started actively purusing increasing our bipartisan relationships in 2014, and we are committed to continuing to develop champions on both sides of the aisle. Our public policy team will lead bipartisan relationship development between our network, members of Congress, and the new Administration, as well continuing to advocate for inclusive community development policies and funding for the CDFI Fund. As the Trump Administration moves forward with its transition efforts and Congress starts a new session, we will continue to update you of our efforts and of advocacy opportunities to leverage your expertise, insights, and your network, on behalf of our industry.