The midterm elections are over but the work of the “old” 115th Congress is far from finished, so lawmakers will reconvene on November 13 for a “lame duck” Congressional session.
Appropriations bills for large swaths of the federal government were not completed by the end of fiscal year (FY) 2018 (September 30, 2018). Therefore, these departments and agencies, including the CDFI Fund, are operating under a short term continuing resolution (CR) that expires on December 7. Once Congress returns, there will be just 12 working days to come to an agreement on the remaining FY 2019 appropriations bills or pass another CR to avoid a partial government shutdown. Further complicating the situation is that any shifts in the balance of power between the parties will impact the willingness of both sides to compromise on spending legislation.
Another key issue Congress may address during the lame duck session is an extension of the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC), set to expire in 2019. The NMTC Coalition is working with Representatives Steve Stivers (R-OH) and Jose Serrano (D-NY) to gain support for a bipartisan Dear Colleague letter urging a permanent NMTC extension before the end of 2018. Visit http://nmtccoalition.org/ to learn how you can support this advocacy effort.
In addition to the pending legislative agenda, the lame duck session will also see leadership elections for both parties as well as possible committee assignments for the 116th Congress, both of which have important implications for CDFI industry policy priorities. OFN will share additional analysis on the impact of the midterm elections in the coming weeks.