Mary Scott Balys
Last week President Biden laid out the framework for his $2.25 trillion infrastructure plan. The American Jobs Plan touches on a number of CDFI priority areas.
The plan includes $213 billion in affordable housing, encourages Congress to pass the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act, provides $25 billion to upgrade and increase the supply of childcare facilities, includes significant investment to “future proof” broadband infrastructure, invests in environmental justice, and outlines a variety of proposals to increase access to capital for small businesses.
The plan does not detail how the funding will be distributed between new and existing programs or what entities will be eligible recipients, however. It will ultimately be up to Congress to draft and pass an infrastructure package.
Congressional leaders have begun weighing in on the proposal, including Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), who stated in a press conference last week that he will push to include the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) and an expansion of the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) in the package when it comes before his committee.
Many Congressional Republicans have already raised objections to the overall price tag of the package and an increase of the corporate tax rate that is used to pay for a portion of the package. The debate on infrastructure is expected to last at least through this summer.
The Biden Administration is also planning on releasing a second package, the American Families Plan, later this month, which will focus on social infrastructure, including childcare, education, and healthcare provisions. OFN remains focused on advocating for the inclusion of CDFIs in all aspects of the final infrastructure package.