WASHINGTON-The Senate Approp- riations Committee approved the VA-HUD and Independent Agencies appropriations bill setting the borrowing cap for the Central Liquidity Facility (CLF) and granting funds to the Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund and the Community Development Revolving Loan Fund (CDRLF) Program. The CLF borrowing authority, which has no budgetary impact, is restored to the $1.5 billion ceiling established for 2001 in the legislation. Historically, the borrowing level had been set at $600 million, but was lifted to its full statutory capacity of 12 times its capital plus surplus in anticipation of Y2K problems. While the credit union trade groups and NCUA would like to see the CLF restored to its full statutory authority, Congress and credit union lobbyists compromised at $1.5 billion last year. The CDRLF received the same funding it has historically at $1 million, with $350,000 earmarked for technical assistance. The CDFI has proven the most contentious issue. The Republican controlled House set the funding at $80 million in their bill, while the Senate, recently taken over by the Democrats, reserved $100 million in funding. The administration had wanted it limited to $68 million, down $50 million from 2000 appropriations. Congress was expected to vote shortly after press time.

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