On the Advocacy Hub, you can explore CDFA's efforts to advance development finance legislation in Congress. CDFA is a non-partisan, non-political institution that supports sound public policy and the leadership involved in making important decisions affecting development finance.
Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021
Congress has passed a $2.3 trillion omnibus spending bill that includes approximately $1.4 trillion to fund the government through September 30, 2021 and approximately $900 billion of economic stimulus. The bill, H.R. 133, contains several important relief provisions and fiscal appropriations critical to the development finance industry. Information about the bill is summarized below.
Read a Section-by-Section Summary of Relief Provisions
Read a Section-by-Section Summary of Appropriations
Read a Section-by-Section Summary of Authorizing Matters
Read the Full Text
View the Bill on Congress.gov
Coronavirus Relief Provisions
The bill includes several provisions to help small businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Extends the deadline to spend Coronavirus Relief Funds to December 31, 2021
- Ends the Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Facility and Municipal Liquidity Facility as of December 31, 2020
- Appropriates $284.45 billion to the PPP Program and extends the program until March 31, 2021, along with several other technical corrections and eligibility expansions
- Appropriates $20 billion for the EIDL Advance program and extends covered period through December 31, 2021
- Appropriates $57 million for the SBA Microloan program
- Authorizes $15 billion for the SBA to make grants to eligible live venue operators, theaters, and arts and cultural institutions
- Establishes a $9 billion Emergency Capital Investment Program at the Department of the Treasury to provide low-cost, long-term capital investments to minority depository institutions (MDIs) and CDFIs that are depository institutions
- Provides $3 billion to the CDFI Fund to provide grants and other financial assistance to CDFIs, including CDFI loan funds
- Appropriates an additional $250 million to the FCC for its COVID-19 Telehealth Program
- Establishes two grant programs at the NTIA and a new Office of Minority Broadband Initiatives. The first is a grant program to support broadband connectivity on tribal lands throughout the country. The second is a $300 million broadband deployment program to support broadband infrastructure deployment to areas lacking broadband, especially rural areas.
The bill includes a number of other matters critical to development finance tools and programs:
- Extends the New Markets Tax Credit for 5 years through 2025
- Provides a permanent 4 percent rate floor for calculating Low Income Housing Tax Credits and provides additional allocations of LIHTC to states hit by natural disasters
- Extends Empowerment Zone tax incentives through 2025
- Extends the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for most eligible facilities through 2023 and some through 2025
- Extends the Production Tax Credit (PTC) for renewable power facilities through 2021
- Extends the EB-5 Regional Center program until June 30, 2021
Most federal agencies received an increase in appropriations for 2021. The agencies most critical to development finance efforts include:
- Commerce: $8.9 billion; including $346 million for EDA
- Education: $73.5 billion
- Energy: $39.6 billion
- Environmental Protection Agency: $9.24 billion, including $91 million for brownfields cleanup
- Housing & Urban Development: $49.6 billion, including $3.5 billion for CDBG
- Small Business Administration: $778.9 million
- Transportation: $86 billion
- Treasury: $13.49 billion; including $270 million for the CDFI Fund
- USDA: $24 billion; including $3.9 billion for rural development
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Here you can view CDFA's current legislative priorities and discover how to get involved.
CDFA's COVID-19 Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Based on the input of our 500+ members, CDFA has developed a set of policy proposals that would allow state and local governments, through development finance agencies, to be immediate problem solvers that can help alleviate the extreme economic challenges facing small businesses and communities to put America securely on the path to recovery. These policies include the reauthorization of the State Small Business Credit Initiative and the addition of a bond finance title to the next stimulus act.
Read the Comprehensive Recovery Strategy
Reauthorization of the State Small Business Credit Initiative
CDFA needs your support to raise awareness about the importance of the Small Business Access to Capital Act (S. 3551). We ask that industry stakeholders add their names to our sign-on letter, as well as send letters to the Senate and House members urging the reauthorization of SSBCI in the next Stimulus. Congress should include the S. 3551 in the next Stimulus, which would reauthorize SSBCI and allocate $3 billion to eligible participating states.
View the Letter
Sign the Letter
Learn more about SSBCI
Bond Financing Provisions
CDFA and our joint coalition of partners is urging Congress to improve tax-exempt bonds. By including a bond finance title in the next Stimulus Act, Congress would signal that bonds are a critical economic recovery tool, and allow for several common-sense changes to be passed related to the efficiency and effectiveness of tax-exempt bonds.
View the Letter
Sign the Letter
Learn more about Bond Provisions
Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act
We ask that industry stakeholders send letters to the House and Senate members to support CDFA's Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act and the suggested reforms to modernize Qualified Small Issue Manufacturing Bonds and First-Time Farmer Bonds.
Learn more about MAMBA
CDFA has crafted the following Policy Agenda. Click on the individual Policy Areas to learn more about each initiative. View and download a printable version of the Policy Agenda here
Policy Area 1: Revitalize Tax-Exempt Bonds
Revitalize Tax-Exempt Bonds
Tax-exempt bonds are a federally authorized development finance tool that helps stimulate public and private investment in a wide variety of economic sectors. Three-quarters of the total United States investment in infrastructure is accomplished with tax-exempt bonds, which are issued by over 50,000 state and local governments and authorities, representing a $3 trillion dollar industry. Yet for an industry that plays such a significant role in U.S. economic development, the rules governing tax-exempt bonds are largely the same as the rules established over 30 years ago through the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Several tax-exempt bond categories would benefit enormously from legislative reforms that take into account the advanced state of the American economy, as well as the current challenges state and local governments face in funding public infrastructure improvements. Therefore, CDFA has proposed six updates to the Internal Revenue Code that would effectively modernize two categories of private activity bonds.
Read about the Modernizing Agricultural and Manufacturing Bonds Act
Policy Area 2: Reduce Barriers to Clean Energy
Reduce Barriers to Clean Energy
For much of the past 15 years, the growth in the clean energy industry has relied on the provision of grants, incentives, rebates, policy initiatives, and technical support from state clean energy programs. The federal government has also invested heavily in the clean energy sector, with loans, grants, and other subsidies for energy development made available through 10 different federal agencies. While public funds have been essential in creating a market for clean energy production, the continued growth of this sector will be limited as long as it relies primarily on public subsidies. A more integrated approach is required; one that continues the important public role of providing incentives and technical support for the adoption of clean energy technologies, while at the same time providing public financial support in the form of credit enhancement to leverage private capital.
Policy Area 3: Support American Small Businesses
Support American Small Businesses
Small businesses in the U.S. carry a disproportionately large burden to employ American citizens than do large enterprises. According to the 2014 Annual Survey of Entrepreneurs, nearly 61 percent of all firms with paid employees have a staff of just 4 people or less. Additionally, since 1970, 55 percent of all existing American jobs have been supported by small business, and 61 percent of all net new jobs have been created in the small business sector. Unfortunately, many new businesses, particularly minority-owned businesses, struggle to access the affordable capital necessary to build a successful company. Additional federal resources are needed to improve capital access for small businesses.
Learn More about the Small Business Access to Capital Act of 2020
Policy Area 4: Stabilize the Federal Financing Delivery System
Stabilize the Federal Financing Delivery System
Access to federal capital is critical and extremely beneficial to state and local government and private sector investment in economic development projects. Access to capital is paramount to leveraging private capital as shown by dozens of creative federal programs aimed at encouraging private sector investment. Nonetheless, both the public and private sector have struggled with the use and engagement of federal resources due to the lack of predictability and reliability of the programs offered by the federal government. Uncertainty has hurt the implementation and long-term effectiveness of federal assistance, and Congress must act to eliminate investor uncertainty.
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