Mary Scott Balys
Infrastructure remains a focus this summer in Washington, D.C., and Congress needs to hear from you about how CDFIs can help rebuild America’s infrastructure! OFN has created a fact sheet highlighting the role CDFIs can play in current proposals.
In April, President Biden laid out his plan for infrastructure in the American Jobs Plan and followed up in May with the American Families Plan, which concentrated on programs to address housing, education, and childcare. Attention now turns to Congress, which is expected to consider at least two bills related to infrastructure.
The first is a bipartisan framework that has been negotiated between the White House and a group of Republican and Democratic Senators. This bill is expected to be narrower in scope than Biden’s original proposals but may be able to win the bipartisan support needed to get 60 votes in the Senate. It will likely stick to more traditional infrastructure investment into projects like roads and bridges.
Concurrently, a second bill is being developed that will be considered under a procedure called reconciliation. This procedure only requires 50 votes in the Senate, meaning it could pass with only Democratic support, with Vice President Harris serving as the tiebreaker. This bill will likely include investments in affordable housing, programs to address resiliency and racial equity, as well as other priorities that could not win broad bipartisan support.
In both bills, there are opportunities for CDFIs to partner with the federal government to ensure that infrastructure resources are reaching disinvested and low-wealth communities. Congress is at work writing these bills now and is expected to begin voting on them in the next several weeks.
Reach out today to remind your Members of Congress to include CDFIs in infrastructure legislation.