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CDFA Legislative and Federal Affairs Update - November 2, 2021

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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update
November 2, 2021
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Legislative and Federal Affairs Update


Infrastructure ‘Teed up for Major Action'
The House will try again this week to pass an infrastructure bill, having failed in late September and again last week to get progressives' buy-in on a process that would have them voting on infrastructure before a reconciliation bill is completely finished. Progressives have kept leadership guessing as to what exactly they require — a framework? bill text? a Senate vote? — before voting on infrastructure.

Legislative Features

President Biden Announces the Build Back Better Framework
On Thursday, October 28, President Biden announced the Build Back Better Framework. The President is confident this is a framework that can pass both houses of Congress, and he looks forward to signing it into law. He calls on Congress to take up this historic bill – in addition to the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act – as quickly as possible. This framework will guide the drafting of legislative language.

Will Muni Bonds Get a Big Boost from Capitol Hill?
Pending municipal finance provisions in the big-spending bills before Congress could benefit issuers, investors, and taxpayers. To get the best deal, state and local leaders must press their case immediately. As Congress continues to kick around bills for infrastructure and federal spending priorities, state and local leaders need to keep their eyes on the shape the legislation's somewhat arcane provisions for municipal finance will take.

President Biden Expected to Meet With House Democrats, Push Progressives to Pass Infrastructure Bill
President Joe Biden attended a meeting with all House Democrats shortly before his trip to Europe in a last-minute push to get progressives to vote for a stalled bipartisan infrastructure bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is aiming to hold a vote Thursday on the $550 billion measure, but progressives have insisted that a larger social safety net bill proceeds alongside the Senate-passed infrastructure package.

Congressional Democrats Debate How to Lower Cost of Infrastructure Bill
To win over their most centrist members, the Democrats will need to fit all their wishes into the smaller box. As Democrats in Congress debate how to pare back their big social spending bill — to a total budget increase of less than $2 trillion over a decade — they have even further to go than it may appear.

Transit, Rail Funding Seen as Vulnerable to Reconciliation Cuts
As Democrats work to reduce the $3.5 trillion topline of their reconciliation measure, transportation analysts worry dollars for transit and high-speed rail will be a target. The House budget reconciliation measure allocated $57.3 billion to the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including $10 billion for transit and $10 billion for high-speed rail. The House is also considering a Senate-passed bipartisan infrastructure bill that included $550 billion in new spending for transportation and infrastructure.

Continued Support for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in Congress
In the multifamily industry, 4% LIHTCs have long served as a crucial tool in the financing of affordable housing across the country. Congress aims to further bolster equity participation in affordable housing transactions by increasing the amount of 4% LIHTCs available for affordable housing projects through a reduction of the required amount of tax-exempt bonds that must be utilized for projects to benefit from the program and expanding the types of projects eligible for basis boosts.

FARM Act Introduced to Combat Foreign Interference in Agriculture
Congressmen Ronny Jackson (R-TX) and Filemon Vela (D-TX) introduced the bipartisan Foreign Adversary Risk Management (FARM) Act, which would combat foreign interference in America's agriculture supply chain through reforms to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.

Upcoming Events
CDFA-Bricker PACE Webinar Series: PACE 2.0 - The Next 10 Years

Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance WebCourse
December 8-9, 2021 - Daily: 12:00 - 5:00 PM Eastern
The Intro Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Finance WebCourse will explore the process of creating, operating, and maintaining a community-based PACE program. This two-day course will feature a comprehensive overview of PACE including program design, capital markets analysis, investor attraction, legal and regulatory considerations, market potential, and operations.

CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series: Preserving Local Food Systems with Federal Financing
Tuesday, December 14, 2021 - 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM Eastern
During this installment of the CDFA Federal Financing Webinar Series, hear from experts at the USDA about their various programs available for rural food systems and agricultural producers to recover from the pandemic.

Federal Features

Over 500 Regions From Across the Country Participate in $1B Build Back Better Regional Challenge
EDA is pleased to announce that 529 applications from regions in all 50 states and five territories have submitted applications for Phase 1 of the $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge. Below is an open letter sent from Alejandra Y. Castillo to Phase 1 applicants. Also provided is a link to the list of Phase 1 applicants by lead institution, project title, and state.

USDA to Make Up to $1.15B Available to Help People Living in Rural Communities Access High-Speed Internet
U.S. Department of Agriculture announced a significant expansion of access to high-speed internet, health care, and educational services for millions of rural Americans nationwide. The announcement continues to advance President Biden's Build Back Better Agenda. USDA will also invest $50 Million to improve access to telemedicine, distance learning for 7.6 Million people in rural areas.

EPA Announces $224M Water Infrastructure Loan for Climate Resilience in Los Angeles, CA
EPA Assistant Administrator for Water Radhika Fox announced a $224 million Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (WIFIA) loan to the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation. EPA's WIFIA loan will help finance a project to purify wastewater and replenish the San Fernando Basin to bolster precious groundwater resources in this drought-stressed region.

SBA and Biden-Harris Administration Announce Community Navigator Pilot Program Grantees
SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced grantees for the Biden-Harris Administration's Community Navigator Pilot Program. The Community Navigator Pilot Program will provide $100 million in funding to 51 organizations that will work with hundreds of local groups to connect America's entrepreneurs to government resources so they can recover and thrive. 

USDA Invests $272M to Improve Rural Water Infrastructure in Rural Communities Across the Country
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is investing $272 million to modernize rural drinking water and wastewater infrastructure for 270,000 people living in rural communities across 37 states and Puerto Rico.

DOE Invests $61M for Smart Buildings That Accelerate Renewable Energy Adoption and Grid Resilience
The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $61 million for 10 pilot projects that will deploy new technology to transform thousands of homes and workplaces into state-of-the-art, energy-efficient buildings. These Connected Communities can interact with the electrical grid to optimize their energy consumption which will substantially decrease their carbon emissions and cut energy costs.

U.S. Department of the Treasury Releases Climate Action Plan
The U.S. Department of the Treasury has released the Treasury Climate Action Plan, which is directed by Section 211 of Executive Order 14008 and Treasury's efforts to bolster adaptation and increase the resilience of its facilities and operations to the impacts of climate change.

Freddie Mac Launches Multi-Billion Dollar Bond Program for Affordable Housing
Freddie Mac announced that the company plans to offer at least $3 billion in Single-Family affordable housing bonds. This new bond program will support affordable homeownership and serve historically underserved markets. To underscore this effort, the company will offer approximately $285 million in Uniform Mortgage-Backed Securities™ backed by loans purchased through its Home Possible program.

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 U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS)

EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Congress created the EB-5 Program in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy through job creation and capital investment by foreign investors. In 1992, Congress created the Immigrant Investor Program,...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Housing & Urban Development (HUD)

Choice Neighborhoods Program
The Choice Neighborhoods program leverages significant public and private dollars to support locally driven strategies that address struggling neighborhoods with distressed public and/or HUD-assisted...

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of Justice (DOJ)

Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS)
Funding to expand the implementation of community policing and meeting the most serious needs of law enforcement in Tribal Nations.

Agency Seal U.S. Dept. of the Interior (DOI)

WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants
Through WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants (formerly Challenge Grants) Reclamation provides 50/50 cost share funding to irrigation and water districts, tribes, states and other entities...

Legislative and Federal Headlines

USDA Seeks Applications to Support Regional Economic and Community Development Planning to Help Rural People
USDA Rural Development | Oct. 28 | Community Development | Federal | Rural Development | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

USDA Announces Over $243M in Grants Awarded to Strengthen the Specialty Crop Industry
USDA | Oct. 28 | Federal | Food Systems Finance | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

Biden Crafts a Climate Plan B: Tax Credits, Regulation, and State Action
Good Times | Oct. 22 | Energy Finance | Federal | Incentives | Tax Credits

PPP is Gone, But Federal Help for Small Businesses Isn't
Seattle Times | Oct. 21 | Access to Capital | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Revolving Loan Funds (RLFs) | COVID-19

CDFI Fund Opens the FY 2021 Funding Round for the Bank Enterprise Award Program
CDFI Fund | Oct. 13 | Access to Capital | Community Development | Federal | U.S. Dept. of Treasury CDFI Fund

COVID-19 May Have Unexpected Benefit of Freeing up Funds for Rural Hospitals to Invest in Technology
HealthCare Finance | Oct. 12 | Federal | Healthcare | Rural Development | COVID-19

EPA Strategic Plan Touts Climate, Environmental Justice Goals
E&E News | Oct. 11 | Brownfield Financing | Federal | Green Finance | Infrastructure Finance | Legislative | Redevelopment | Water Finance

USDA Invests $4.7M to Provide Outreach and Technical Assistance to Historically Underserved Farmers and Ranchers
DRGNews.com | Oct. 11 | Disaster Recovery & Relief | Federal | Rural Development | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) | COVID-19

USDA Commitments to Equity in Agriculture Include Nearly $25M for Programs Reaching Underserved Communities
USDA | Oct. 7 | Access to Capital | Agriculture Finance | Federal | Food Systems Finance | Rural Development | Social Finance | U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA)

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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