Congress is preparing to pass legislation that contains a $12 billion set-aside for the Community Development Financial Institutions program, and extensions of the Paycheck Protection Program, the Troubled Debt Restructuring provisions, and the pandemic-related provisions of the National Credit Union Administration’s Central Liquidity Facility. Congress is combining the coronavirus economic stimulus bill and the FY21 omnibus appropriations measure into one bill totally 5,593 pages.
Sens. Bernie Sanders and Kirsten Gillibrand introduced S.4614, legislation that would permit banking services in post offices. The services would include ATMs, low-cost checking accounts, low-cost savings accounts and low-interest loans.
The Senate returns this week and the House will return next week. There is still much to be done and it is unlikely that Congress will get to everything related to credit unions before the election. Here is a summary of the decisions and legislation that remain.
Charging that any postal banking deal between the U.S. Postal Service and JPMorgan Chase would be an invitation for corruption, the trade group representing the nation’s community banks on Monday asked the Postal Regulatory Commission to investigate reports of such a deal.
Credit union trade groups and Senate Banking Committee ranking Democrat Sherrod Brown of Ohio lambasted the U.S. Postal Service for considering allowing JPMorgan Chase to offer banking services in post offices.
The House on Friday passed an FY21 spending measure that would increase Community Development Financial Institutions funding by $11.5 million and set aside $2 million for a pilot test of postal banking.
Voting 217-197, the House passed H.R. 7617, which combines six of the annual appropriations bills, including the Financial Services spending measure.
A draft of the 2020 national Democratic platform calls for an “up-dated and modernized version” of the Glass-Steagall Act and for an examination of postal banking.
The draft document, which the Democratic National Committee is scheduled to consider on Monday, said the party will push for “a new economic contract that provides access for all to reliable and affordable banking and financial services.”
It also calls for beefing up the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and doubling funding for the Community Development Financial Institutions program.
The House Appropriations Committee Wednesday approved an FY21 financial services spending measure that includes an $11.5 million boost for the Community Development Financial Institutions program. Voting 30-22, the committee approved the bill that would provide $273.5 million for the program in FY21. The bill also would provide the NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund with $2 million in FY21. The program received $950,00 this year. Rep. Harold Rogers (R-Ky.) told the committee that the CDFI program has worked extremely well in areas of his district. The Trump Administration has proposed eliminating the program in each of its budgets. The report
Democratic House Appropriators this week jumped on the postal banking bandwagon, calling for a pilot program to test the concept.
In the report accompanying its FY21 spending measure, Democrats on the House Financial Services Appropriations Subcommittee said that post offices could play a crucial role in providing banking services. The subcommittee did not provide any funding for the pilot, but simply gave directions for the Postal Service to test the concept.
A Democratic “unity” task force designed by supporters of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is recommending that post offices provide banking services to improve access to financial services.