With just over a week until the end of fiscal year (FY) 2019, Congress has yet to finalize any of its spending bills to fund the federal government in FY 2020. On September 19, in order to avoid a government shutdown and give Congress time to come to an agreement on FY 2020 funding levels, the House passed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government at current FY 2019 levels through November 21.
Although there is not a final spending agreement in place yet, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have taken action on their FY 2020 Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) subcommittee bills and CDFI Fund appropriations. The Senate Appropriations Committee recently approved $251 million for the CDFI Fund, and back in June, the House of Representatives approved $304 million in its FSGG bill. Both bills provide $500 million in guarantee authority for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.
In addition to the different funding levels, there are other differences between the House and Senate bills that will also need to be addressed in the final FY 2020 bill:
The House bill includes $10 million for grants for loan loss reserve funds and technical assistance for small dollar loan programs.
The Senate bill includes $1 million to fund an interagency agreement with the Corporation for National and Community Service to place national service members at certified CDFIs.
Both bills contain the “10-20-30” persistent poverty language requiring 10 percent of funds be used for awards that support investments that serve populations living in persistent poverty (poverty levels of 20 percent over the past 30 years) counties; the House version has an additional directive for the CDFI Fund to provide priority to CDFIs where 15 percent of their lending over the past three years has been in persistent poverty counties.
The Senate bill contains report language encouraging the IRS to collect and make public data on Opportunity Zone transactions.
The next step in the process is for the House and Senate to negotiate final spending levels as well as iron out the policy differences in their respective bills. These negotiations will be critical in determining the final funding level for the CDFI Fund in FY 2020.
OFN is urging Congress to adopt the House-approved funding level of $304 million and we encourage CDFI supporters to do so as well. Visit OFN’s Policy Action Center to take action today.
For more information on OFN’s appropriations advocacy, contact Dafina Williams, VP, Public Policy.