Letters to Reps Knollenberg Olver Lewis and Senators Bond MurrayCochran Regarding CDFI

Letters to Congress

Letters to Reps Knollenberg, Olver, Lewis and Senators Bond, Murray,Cochran Regarding CDFI

May 12, 2005

The Honorable Joe Knollenberg
Chairman, House Transportation,
Treasury and Housing Subcommittee
2358 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Knollenberg:

On behalf of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and America's 86 million credit union members, I am asking for your help to ensure that the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund remains under the Treasury Department, 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.

On behalf of CUNA and its' member credit unions, I ask for your consideration and leadership in keeping the CDFI Fund under the Treasury Department, as well as restoring the funding level to $80 million in the FY2006 Transportation, Treasury and Housing Appropriations bill 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

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