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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - October 6, 2020

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
October 6, 2020
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update

Legislative Features

Slimmer Coronavirus Aid Package Introduced in House
House Democrats unveiled a $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package as part of a last-ditch attempt to secure new aid before the November 3 elections. Even as talks resumed between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on a potential compromise, Democrats sought to increase the public pressure by offering their revised wish list that Republicans have said is still too costly.

Transportation Funding Extension Provides Stability for States
President Trump signed into law a one-year extension of surface transportation funding just as it was expiring, providing a much-needed though a temporary shot of assurance to states and other stakeholders as they look to the future. The continuing resolution prevents a government shutdown in the absence of regular appropriations legislation, after its 84-10 passage in the Senate and 359-57 in the House.

House Approves Legislation to Send Cybersecurity Resources to State, Local Governments
The State and Local Cybersecurity Improvement Act, which has bipartisan support, would create a $400 million grant program at the Department of Homeland Security to provide financial resources for state and local governments to defend against and respond to cyberattacks.

NACo Analysis of the Updated HEROES Act
On September 28, the U.S. House of Representatives unveiled a $2.2 trillion coronavirus response package as part of a final effort to secure new aid before the November 3 election. The bill (H.R. 8406) is an updated version of the $3.4 trillion HEROES Act (H.R. 6800) the U.S. House passed in May and could receive a vote on September 30.

Red Tape Holding Up $11B in CARES Relief for Indian Country
Like countless state and local governments, the 574 federally recognized American Indian tribes across the U.S. are struggling to respond to the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 — and the resulting economic devastation. Despite the $11 billion in direct relief Congress earmarked for tribal governments last spring, the funds have been slow to reach Native Americans, and legal restrictions and other red tape have hindered tribes' capacities to adequately respond to the pandemic.

Restaurant Owners Seek Help From Congress
Restaurant owners took their case for more pandemic relief to Congress, asking a House panel to quickly approve tax credits to retain workers and update equipment before they are forced out of business during the economic downturn.

Sens. Wyden, Merkley, Feinstein, Murray, Harris Introduce Disaster Tax Relief Bill
Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Ron Wyden, D-Ore., Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., Senator Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., Senator Patty Murray, D-Wa., and Senator Kamala Harris, D-Calif., introduced legislation to provide tax relief to individuals, businesses, and states affected by catastrophic wildfires and other presidentially-declared disasters.

Paying for Infrastructure Requires Bipartisan Approach
Partisanship is preventing successful congressional action to create a sustainable multi-year infrastructure plan, something that lawmakers for decades achieved with little controversy. Both the House and Senate have attempted to advance separate surface transportation reauthorization bills.

Energy Policy Hangs In The Balance As The U.S. Election Nears
As the 2020 U.S. election nears, the energy finance sector is expected to experience some volatility. Energy policy under the Trump administration and plans from the Biden campaign differ significantly, with the former focused on energy independence and the latter influenced by Green New Deal advocates in the party.

Transportation Groups Warn Congress of Billions in Canceled Projects
Transportation groups warn billions of dollars worth of future infrastructure projects will be canceled if Congress doesn't act swiftly to extend current surface transportation funding. In a letter to congressional leaders published this week, groups urged lawmakers to extend the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, which will expire Sept. 30, by one year.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Virtual National Summit: Financing Our COVID Recovery

CDFA-PFM Capital Markets Webinar Series: Pricing Private Activity Bonds in Complex Capital Stacks
October 8, 2020 - 2:00 - 3:30 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA-PFM Capital Markets Webinar Series, project finance experts and issuers will discuss the viability of how private activity bond deals can fit into complex capital stacks.

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Manufacturing Bonds for Disaster Response
Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 1:00 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series, we will look at how IDBs act as a resilient economic driver by financing the manufacturing facilities that stabilize local economies during crises.

Federal Features

Federal Reserve Issues Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Modernizing Community Reinvestment Act
The Federal Reserve Board issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) that invites public comment on an approach to modernizing the regulations that implement the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) by strengthening, clarifying, and tailoring them to reflect the current banking landscape and better meet the core purpose of the CRA.

CDFI Fund Opens CY 2020 Round of New Markets Tax Credit Program
The CDFI Fund released the Notice of Allocation Availability (NOAA) for the calendar year 2020 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program. The NOAA makes up to $5.0 billion in tax credit allocation authority available for the CY 2020 round, an increase of $1.5 billion more than the $3.5 billion in NMTCs initially authorized for allocation in CY 2019.

U.S. to Start Forgiving PPP Loans After Borrowers Complained
The SBA will begin forgiving loans granted to small-business owners under the Paycheck Protection Program, following banks' and borrowers' complaints that the process had been bogged down. Business advocates, banks, and lawmakers have raised concerns that the process of turning the loans into grants is too complex and slow under the $670 billion federal program.

$500B Loan Fund for State Governments Barely Tapped
The Federal Reserve's $500B short term borrowing program intended to give state and local governments and government entities access to cash has barely been touched, despite mounting budget shortfalls in many states around the country. Many states have turned away from the new pandemic lending program because of what they say are overly strict terms and their own limitations on the uses of borrowed funds.

Treasury Releases New CRF Guidelines Impacting Counties
The U.S. Department of Treasury's Office of Inspector General (OIG) released updated guidance outlining new requirements for recipients of the Coronavirus Relief Fund. The new guidance comes after a July 2 memorandum was released stating that OIG is responsible for monitoring and oversight of the receipt, disbursement, and use of CRF payments.

Energy Department to Invest More Than $5M in Tribal Energy Infrastructure Deployment Projects
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today more than $5 million in funding for nine tribal energy infrastructure projects. This funding through the DOE Office of Indian Energy Policy and Programs will help Native American and Alaska Native communities harness their vast undeveloped energy resources to reduce or stabilize energy costs, as well as increase energy security and resilience.

USDA Launches Webpage for Broadband Projects Seeking Funds Under Electric Program
The USDA has launched a webpage to notify the public when the Department has received applications from rural electric cooperatives and utilities for loans and loan guarantees in which up to 10 percent of the funds will be used to deploy broadband service.

EXIM Board Approves Three Energy Sector Transactions Totaling $450M to Support an Estimated 1,900 U.S. Jobs
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) Board of Directors unanimously voted to approve three authorizations totaling a combined $450 million in financing to support an estimated 1,900 American jobs through the export of energy-related goods and services abroad.

HUD Awards Over $500K in CARES Act Funding to Fifteen State and Local Fair Housing Organizations for COVID-19 Relief
HUD announced over half a million dollars in additional funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in 12 states to support activities related to COVID-19. These awards are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds provided through the CARES Act of 2020

HHS Partners With FCC and USDA On Rural Telehealth Initiative
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work together on the Rural Telehealth Initiative, a joint effort to collaborate and share information to address health disparities, resolve service-provider challenges, and promote broadband services and technology to rural areas in America.

Federal Financing Clearinghouse Spotlight

CDFA's Federal Financing Clearinghouse is the only online resource cataloging the development finance programs offered by the federal government. Check out our featured agencies and programs below. >>> Learn More

Agency Seal Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF)
Through a two-phase reverse auction mechanism, the FCC will direct up to $20.4 billion over ten years to finance up to gigabit speed broadband networks in unserved rural areas.

Agency Seal Northern Border Regional Commission

State Economic & Infrastructure Development (SEID) Investment Program
NBRC's Economic & Infrastructure Development Investment program provides federal grants (in the form of reimbursement for eligible expenses incurred) to employment-generating projects that have...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants
Mutual Self-Help Housing Technical Assistance Grants program provides grants to qualified organizations to help them carry out local self-help housing construction projects.

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Commerce (DOC)

Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms (TAA)
The TAA program provides technical assistance to manufacturers or producers who have lost employment and sales or production due to increased import competition.

New Additions to the Online Resource Database

Local and Urban Food Systems: Selected Farm Bill and Other Federal Programs
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Legislative | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tax Credits
More than 30 USDA grant and loan programs provide support and assistance for local and urban food producers and producer groups. These grant and loan programs may be grouped into several broad program categories, including marketing and promotion; business assistance and agricultural research; rural and community development; urban and indoor production; nutrition and education; and farmland conservation.

USDA Programs in the Local Food Supply Chain
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Energy Finance | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development | Tribal Finance
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is committed to supporting robust regional food economies across the food chain. This graphic is designed to be a guide for which programs are best suited for different parts of the supply chain.

Financing Resilient Agriculture
Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | Tribal Finance
There are several existing agricultural lender initiatives that can inform the development of lending programs or products for resilient agriculture. This report derives five key lessons from these initiatives, including the need to understand the financial benefits of and barriers to resilient agricultural practices, design loan structures and requirements that correspond with the financial characteristics of those practices, utilize loan support to launch initial products, collect data on financial and environmental performance to show results and adjust credit rating processes, and consider other forms of support farmers may need to ensure successful practice adoption.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation's leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information visit CDFA.net or email info@cdfa.net

Council of Development Finance Agencies
100 E. Broad Street, Suite 1200
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 705-1300


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