Community development credit unions, particularly those which been recognized as community development financial institutions by the U.S. Treasury's CDFI Fund, plan to pay close attention to the Obama administration's stated intention to freeze much of the federal budget.
"We haven't seen the details yet," said Cliff Rosenthal, CEO of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions on the morning of President Barack Obama's State of the Union Message where he is expected to lay out his vision for the budget. "But overall I think we are hopeful that whatever comes won't impact us too badly."
Rosenthal explained that CDCUs and other CDFIs have already received a significantly higher budgetary allocation from the Obama administration than they have from previous administrations, and a budgetary freeze at this high level would not be too bad for many of them. In addition, Rosenthal pointed out that CDCUs and CDFIs have played a key role in an administration target of making more money available to small businesses as part of its efforts to stimulate the economy.
Linda Davenport, a policy analyst with Rapoza Associates, declined to comment for the CDFI Coalition on the Obama administration's shifting budget priorities. She pointed out that no one really knows what they are or what impact they will have until the administration makes the budget public on Feb. 2.
The coalition has contracted with Rapoza Associates, a Washington-based lobbying and management firm, to handle both its governmental affairs and some of its operations, including the planning and execution of its annual conference, the CDFI Institute.