Legislative Update with Jay Kruse
by Jay Kruse
Chief Advocacy Officer
7/9/2019

Good Morning,

 

It’s back to reality after the 4th of July holiday, and Congress is back in session this week. The House is shifting focus to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) this week after passing the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2020 prior to recess.

 

House Passes Financial Services Appropriations Bill.

 

The appropriation bill, formally know as H.R. 3351, is a win for credit unions in the House, increasing funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) by $50 million, to a total of $300 million. This is important as the the fund makes capital grants, equity investments and awards for technical assistance to certified CDFIs. Today, credit unions make up roughly 25% of the 1,061 certified CDFIs nationwide.

 

The bill also maintains funding levels for the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) for fiscal year 2020. $2 million was allocated to the fund which provides assistance to credit unions serving low-income communities. It is the hope that these funds can be used to stimulate the economy in these communities and increase income and employment opportunities.

 

If the Senate passes its version of the FSGG with different funding levels, the two bills will go to conference committee to find common ground. We will continue to engage our elected officials as the process continues.

 

National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

 

The tables have turned when it comes to the NDAA, with the Senate already passing and now waiting on the House to pass their version of the legislation. The NDAA is the appropriations legislation that determines funding for military activities of the Department of Defense and for military construction. It basically determines our defense policy and budget.

 

In relation to credit unions, the House version of the NDAA does not include (credit union opposed) language extending to banks the rent-free access to military bases that credit unions are eligible for. The same cannot be said for the Senate’s NDAA legislation, which does grant rent-free access to certain banks that meet similar requirements that currently apply to credit unions.

 

Similar to the the FSGG appropriations bill above, if and when discrepancies exist following the House’s passage of the NDAA, the two bills will go to conference committee to find common ground.

 

If you have any questions regarding these or other advocacy issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

 

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