The Honorable Shelley Moore Capito Chairman Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations
172 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
The Honorable Christopher Coons Ranking Member Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations
127A Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Dear Chairman Capito and Ranking Member Coons:
CU Strategic Planning, an organization working with more than 500 credit unions nationwide, including 200 credit unions with the Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) designation serving over 5 million consumers, writes to you today to express concerns with the cuts to the CDFI budget contained in the draft House Appropriation’s Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government Appropriations for 2018. This $190 million House number represents a figure well below the 2017 funding 2017 level of $250 million), as well as those from 2016 and 2015 ($233 million in each year).
Our strongly held view is that the Senate should restore funding to the 2017 level of $250 million. We also recognize that the budget for the total Treasury Department may be reduced by between 6-7%, based on the House number. If that decision holds in the Senate, then we would strongly encourage you to consider that CDFI’s budget only be cut at the same rate, which would put the Appropriation at approximately $233 million for 2018.
CDFI is an effective federal government agency and important part of the U.S. Department of the Treasury. It has been a significant partner for our credit union clients working to lend to small businesses, an effort that has resulted in the addition of more than 10,000 jobs to the economy. CDFI has also helped retain jobs that would otherwise be threatened. The partnership between credit unions and CDFI has also led to tens of thousands of small dollar loans and used auto loans that have helped low to moderate income families have access to affordable transportation to their jobs, helping families avoid utilizing other support programs. Additionally, housing projects with credit unions in urban and rural areas have helped thousands of American obtain the American dream of homeownership even though they were from low to moderate income families.
We regard sufficient funding for the CDFI Fund to be an essential part of Congress’ efforts to support infrastructure and economic empowerment in the nation, and so we urge you to consider the CDFI Fund as a vital partner to credit unions that are the safe cooperatively owned places to save and borrow for more than 108 million Americans.
Michael V. Beall, Esq. Chief Strategic and Advocacy Officer