President Trump appears to have gone back on a commitment he made during the recent presidential campaign and is once again opposing funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions program.
In a letter to Senate appropriators outlining the administration’s position on FY21 government funding, Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought objected to the Senate’s proposal to include $262 million for the CDFI program. The House version of the funding measure calls for $273.5 million for the program, which received $262 million in the last fiscal year.
“The Administration is disappointed that the Committee continues funding for unnecessary discretionary award programs when scarce taxpayer resources would be better spent modernizing IRS systems and taxpayer services,” Vought wrote.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Trump unveiled a “Platinum Plan” that included the CDFI program in an effort to appeal to Black voters. One section of that plan said that Trump supported increasing “opportunities for small business lending and technical assistance through Community Development Financial Institutions, in order to grow business and create generational wealth opportunities with over $400B in lending.”
Vought’s Nov. 30 statement is a return to the Trump Administration’s original position. In each of its budgets, the Trump Administration opposed funding for the program even though Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has told appropriators that the administration understands there is tremendous support for the program on Capitol Hill.