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Inside Washington (12/19/2007)
* WASHINGTON (12/20/07)--The House passed a Senate bill Tuesday that would extend for seven years a government terrorism insurance program created after the Sept. 11 attacks. The bill also would include domestic terrorism coverage. The insurance program was scheduled to expire at the end of the year (American Banker Dec. 19). Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) said he was disappointed that the House didn’t expand the coverage program to include coverage for nuclear, biological, radiological and chemical terrorism, but added he would continue seeking additional coverage … * WASHINGTON (12/20/07)—Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) applauded the Senate's passage of a consolidated appropriations bill, which would provide more than $40 million in additional funding for key Small Business Administration (SBA) programs over last year's funding, according to a press release distributed by PRNewswire. He noted that it has been seven years since program spending levels have been increased. The Senate bill specifically would provide increases for the following SBA programs: Small Business Development Centers, up 9%, from $89 million to $97.1 million; Women's Business Centers, up 4% from $12.5 million to $13 million; Microloan Technical Assistance Grants, up 15% from $13 million to $15 million; Microloans, up 53% from $1.3 million to $2 million in funds to leverage almost $20 million in loans -- up from $12.7 million last year; Program for Investment in Microentrepreneurs - up 50% from $2 million to $3 million; 7(j) Technical Assistance, up 53% from $1.5 million to $2.3 million; HUBZone Program, up 5% from $2 million to $2.1 million; and the Surety Bond Program, up 6% from $2.8 million to $3 million. The legislation also provides that the SBA will be able to leverage up to $28 billion in loans and venture capital deals through the 7(a), 504, and Small Business Investment Company programs… * WASHINGTON (12/20/07)--The Treasury Department Tuesday announced the opening of the sixth round of competition for tax credits on $3.5 billion of equity investments under the New Markets Tax Credit Program. The program attracts private-sector capital investment into the nation’s urban and rural low-income areas to help finance community development projects, stimulate economic growth and create jobs. This year’s allocation round will emphasize placing investments in underserved rural communities. The application deadline is March 5, 2008 … * WASHINGTON (12/20/07)--The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC) board of directors approved a $1.14 billion corporate operating budget for 2008. The budget is 3.1% higher than 2007’s budget. The board also approved an increase in authorized FDIC staffing to 4,810 in 2008, from 4,716 in 2007. The added staff is primarily for bank examiner positions …


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