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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - September 7, 2021

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
September 7, 2021
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update

Legislative Features

House Adopts Budget, Greenlights Reconciliation Process for Infrastructure
House Democrats on August 24 adopted a budget resolution needed to unlock a filibuster-proof $3.5 trillion package of domestic spending and tax breaks and teed up a vote on a separate bipartisan infrastructure bill in September. The budget rule also included language that ensures the Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill will be brought to the floor by Sept. 27.

Senate Passes $1T Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
The Senate gave overwhelming bipartisan approval on Tuesday to a $1 trillion infrastructure bill to rebuild the nation's deteriorating roads and bridges and fund new climate resilience and broadband initiatives, delivering a key component of President Biden's agenda. The vote, 69 to 30, was uncommonly bipartisan.

Reconciliation Bill Provides Two-Week Window for Muni Agenda
The exclusion of the muni industry's top priorities in the bipartisan infrastructure package has set up a two-week battle for lobbyists and industry advocates to include advance refunding, a bank-qualified expansion, and a direct-pay bond program in the upcoming reconciliation bill. "It continues to be a procedural fight at this point," said Brett Bolton, vice president and head of government and industry relations at the Bond Dealers of America.

U.S. Sen. Wyden Unveils Bill To Combat Profiteers In Low-Income Housing
U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden announced a bill he said would close a loophole that allows large investors to seek outsized profits in taxpayer-funded affordable housing. If successful, the change would apply to current and future housing deals that use the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit for funding.

Bipartisan Bill Would Expand SBA Loan Program to Include Fintech Lenders
Sens. Tim Scott, R-SC, and John Hickenlooper, D-CO, introduced legislation that would allow fintech lenders to participate in the SBA's 7(a) loan program by lifting an old moratorium on issuing new Small Business Lending Company licenses. The result would be younger and higher credit risk businesses will gain access to affordable credit; more rural small businesses will have easier access to more lenders, and lenders will be able to offer lower rates and longer terms to small businesses.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation Passes Senate, Includes Carbon Capture Improvement
U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) announced that their bipartisan Carbon Capture Improvement Act has passed the Senate as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act. The Carbon Capture Improvement Act makes it easier for power plants and industrial facilities to finance the purchase and installation of carbon capture, utilization, and storage equipment, as well as direct air capture (DAC) projects through the use of private activity bonds (PABs).

Cut In Infrastructure Money for Communities Hurt by Highways Disappoints Advocates
The Reconnecting Communities Initiative aims to create a fund that would help cities and states rectify the damage caused by the hundreds of highways built through minority neighborhoods across the country during the middle of the 20th century. When the final infrastructure bill came out, however, advocates were devastated to see that the program that aimed to heal longstanding racial wounds had been cut to a lower funding level.

What's in the Infrastructure Bill for Rural America?
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act offers many important provisions that those in rural America were seeking. The bill authorizes $303.5 billion from the Highway Trust Fund for roads and bridges; creates a competitive grant program to address the surface transportation infrastructure of rural communities; authorizes the Rural Opportunities to Use Transportation for Economic Success or ROUTES initiative; $65 billion for broadband financing; and funding for rural schools and more.

Reps. Sherrill, Pascrell, Senator Ossoff Introduce RAISE the Roof Act
Representatives Mikie Sherill (NJ-11) and Bill Pascrell, Jr. (NJ-09) introduced the Revamping Appropriate Incentives for Solar Energy for (RAISE) the Roof Act, which clarifies and expands the solar investment tax credit (ITC) to include integrated solar roofs. This move would maximize the positive climate and economic impacts of the next generation of solar energy technology.

CARES Funding for Rural Assisted Living Gets Protections Within Infrastructure Bill
When a bipartisan group of senators worked to craft an infrastructure bill, they came close to taking money away from rural assisted living facilities to help pay for it. However, thanks to action by several Congresswomen in rural states, money for assisted living facilities is safe and ready to be allocated, despite being authorized for disbursal more than a year ago.

Upcoming Events
CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: The Federal Role in Financing Broadband

CDFA // BNY Mellon Development Finance Webcast Series: Layering the Capital Stack
Tuesday, September 21, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM Eastern
The phrase "Capital Stack" is one that is pretty commonplace in the Development Finance nomenclature these days, but what does it truly mean to build the Capital Stack and how can it work for your project? This session will discuss how Bonds, Tax Increment Finance, Tax Credits as well as the litany of federal funding through recent legislation can work for your project and ultimately the community that is benefitting.

SSBCI Learning Series - Module II
September 24, 2021 - 1:00 PM Eastern
The second module of the SSBCI Learning Series will discuss the structure of Venture Capital Programs, Capital Access Programs, and Loan Guarantee Programs. It will also cover private financing strategies for engaging Angel Investors, Venture Capitalists, CDFIs, and Impact Investors.

Intro Tax Credit Finance WebCourse
September 29-30, 2021 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Tax Credit Finance WebCourse examines the application of tax credit programs in greater economic development finance efforts. This course discusses the practical application of tax credit programs including brownfields, new markets, low-income housing, historic preservation, and state-specific programs.

Federal Features

CDFI Fund Announces $5B in New Markets Tax Credits
The CDFI Fund announced $5 billion in New Markets Tax Credits that will spur investment and economic growth in low-income urban and rural communities nationwide. A total of 100 Community Development Entities (CDEs) were awarded tax credit allocations, made through the calendar year 2020 round of the New Markets Tax Credit Program.

NTIA Releases Interactive Federal Funding Guide
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) released the Interactive Federal Funding Guide as an enhancement to BroadbandUSA's "one-stop" federal funding site. The Guide provides an interactive, step-by-step approach for users to filter through more than 90 broadband-related programs compiled from 12 federal agencies and the Federal Communications Commission.

IRS Takes Scalpel to Opportunity Zone Regs in New Update
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service surgically nipped and tucked the regulations governing qualified opportunity zone funds (QOFs) which, while precise and limited to two specific sections, arguably results in a complete facelift to the way QOFs must operate.

SBA Awards $5.2M in PRIME Grants to Help Emerging Micro-Entrepreneurs Gain Access to Capital
The SBA has awarded 27 organizations across the United States a total of $5.2 million under the Program for Investment in Micro-Entrepreneurs (PRIME) grant awards. PRIME supports these nonprofit organizations as they help low-income entrepreneurs get financing to establish and expand their small businesses by providing direct technical assistance, or provide capacity-building training for other organizations that provide capital to underserved small businesses.

A Transparent Look at How Governments Are Spending $350B in ARPA Funds
States and territories, as well as cities and counties with populations of more than 250,000, will soon be delivering the first of seven annual Recovery Plan Performance Reports to the U.S. Treasury, and those reports are required to be posted on "publicly facing" websites. The reports are unlikely to reveal much about actual performance but will give an initial view of how states and localities are spending the $350 billion in the American Rescue Plan Act.

EPA Administrator Regan Announces $168M in Water Investments, Highlights Benefits of Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Administrator Michael S. Regan joined Silicon Valley Clean Water Commission Chair Alicia Aguirre, and other local officials to announce Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act loans totaling $168M for water system upgrades in Redwood City and Alameda County, California.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces Steps to Increase Affordable Housing Supply
The Biden-Harris Administration is announcing a number of steps that will create, preserve, and sell to homeowners and non-profits nearly 100,000 additional affordable homes for homeowners and renters over the next three years, with an emphasis on the lower and middle segments of the market.

USDA Has Invested $1.2B in Rural Businesses in 2021
USDA Rural Development announced that USDA is on track to provide a record level of support for rural working capital and other business capital needs in fiscal year 2021. The Department has invested $1.2 billion in loan guarantees to help rural businesses in 41 states. These investments – made through the Business and Industry Loan Guarantee Program and the Business and Industry CARES Act Program – are expected to create or save more than 12,000 jobs for people in rural areas.

MSRB Study Points to Impact of Federal Reserve's Pandemic Response
A significant disparity between how the effective spreads of municipal and corporate bonds declined following the most volatile month early in the pandemic may be at least partly explained by the differential treatment they received from Federal Reserve backstop programs. That was a conclusion drawn by a new Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board study.

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)

COVID-19 Telehealth Program
The COVID-19 Telehealth Program will provide $200 million in funding to help health care providers provide connected care services to patients at their homes or mobile locations.

Agency Seal Northern Border Regional Commission

NBRC Local Development Districts
The NBRC Federal-State partnership is aided by a group of regional organizations called Local Development Districts (LDD's) that assist the NBRC in its outreach activities and administer NBRC...

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

Electric Infrastructure Loan & Loan Guarantee Program
The electric program makes insured loans and loan guarantees to nonprofit and cooperative associations, public bodies and other utilities. Insured loans primarily finance the construction of electric...

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

Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership (IMCP) Program
The IMCP program encourages communities to develop comprehensive economic development strategies. Under IMCP, 18 federal agencies with more than $1.3 billion in grant funding can use the designees'...

Legislative and Federal Headlines

EPA Announces $131M WIFIA Loan for PFAS Treatment and Removal Systems in Orange County, CA
U.S. EPA | Sep. 1 | Brownfield Financing | Federal | U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) | Water Finance

SBA Opens Supplemental Grant Applications for Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Awardees
U.S. SBA | Aug. 30 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) | COVID-19

USDA on Track to Provide Record-Breaking Support for Rural Working Capital Needs in FY21
West Virginia Daily News | Aug. 30 | Access to Capital | Federal | Rural Development | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

The Inside Story of COVID-Crushed Small Businesses and Their Comeback Hopes
Bankrate | Aug. 17 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Rural Development | COVID-19

Beyond 'Food Deserts': America Needs a New Approach to Mapping Food Insecurity
Brookings Institution | Aug. 17 | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Incentives | Social Finance

EXIM Approves $97.2M Working Capital Guarantee to Support Aircraft Exports Manufactured in Melbourne, FL
Ex-Im Bank | Aug. 13 | Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) | Federal | International | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs)

$500M in Emergency Rural Health Care Funding Available Through American Rescue Plan
USDA | Aug. 12 | Community Development | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Healthcare | Legislative | Rural Development | COVID-19

USDA Invests $167M in High-Speed Broadband in 12 States
USDA | Aug. 11 | Federal | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development

Why Rural America Is Key to Climate Change Policy
Green Biz | Aug. 11 | Energy Finance | Federal | Green Finance | Resiliency | Rural Development | Water Finance

Next Infrastructure Challenge: Fixing Rural Cellphone Service
The Washington Post | Aug. 11 | Federal | Infrastructure Finance | Rural Development

Bill Introduced to Lower Cost of Rent for Workers and Families
The World | Aug. 10 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Economic Development | Federal | Housing Finance | Legislative | Tax Credits

Farm Groups Praise the Infrastructure Bill
The Fence Post | Aug. 10 | Agriculture Finance | Federal | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative | Rural Development

New Additions to the Online Resource Database

USDA Resource Guide for Rural Workforce Development
Agriculture Finance | Community Development | Economic Development | Federal | Rural Development | Access to Capital | Food Systems Finance | Housing Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Innovation Finance | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | Tribal Finance | Urban Development
America's rural workforce provides a vital foundation for the nation's economy. Rural America supplies the nation's food and energy resources, and the fiber necessary for goods and manufacturing. As USDA continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and help restore the economy, USDA remains committed to supporting rural employers and job seekers.

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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CDFA National Sponsors

  • Baker Tilly
  • BNY Mellon
  • Bricker & Eckler LLP
  • Brownfield Superfund Advisory, Inc
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  • FBT Project Finance Advisors LLC
  • Frost Brown Todd LLC
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  • Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP
  • Ice Miller LLP
  • KeyBanc Capital Markets
  • Kutak Rock LLP
  • McGuireWoods
  • MuniCap, Inc.
  • NW Financial Group, LLC
  • PGAV Planners, LLC
  • SB Friedman Development Advisors
  • Stern Brothers
  • Stifel Nicolaus
  • U.S. Bank
  • Wells Fargo Securities
  • Z. The Bond Buyer
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