Letter to the members of House Budget Committee regarding CDFI Fund
February 24, 2005
The Honorable Jim Nussle
Chairman, Budget Committee
303 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Nussle:
On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and America's nearly 85 million credit union members, I am asking for your help to ensure that during the Budget Committee's review of the Administration's FY2006 Budget request, the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund remains under the Treasury Department's budget, and that its funding be restored to a minimum of $80 million.
The Administration's proposal to shift the CDFI Fund to the Commerce Department under a new block grant program titled "Strengthening America's Communities Initiative," as well as significantly decrease the core program funding to only $8 million for the New Markets Tax Credit program, would have a severe negative impact on the future ability for CDFIs and Community Development Credit Unions (CDCUs) to promote economic revitalization and community development in distressed communities.
The CDFI Fund uses small amounts of federal dollars to leverage significant amounts of private and non-federal dollars, and has added a tremendous boost to the CDFI industry. CDFIs and CDCUs are charged with supplying low-income, distressed communities with traditional banking services such as savings accounts and personal loans, and offering individuals the tools needed to become self-sufficient stakeholders in their own future.
As your committee moves forward with the FY2006 Budget process, I ask for your consideration and leadership in keeping the CDFI Fund under the Treasury Department's budget, as well as restoring the funding level to $80 million to ensure the CDFI fund will continue to provide credit, investment capital, and financial services in distressed communities.
Daniel A. Mica
President & CEO
Credit Union National Association