ALEXANDRIA, Va.-NCUA Chairman Dennis Dollar praised President George W. Bush's budget plan as "deeply committed to strengthening our economy and providing opportunities for people from all walks of life," two hallmarks of his own administration. "Credit unions can play a significant role in helping their members take advantage of these opportunities. I have long been an advocate of budget efficiency and strengthened program performance from all federal agencies," Dollar remarked. The chairman applauded the inclusion of an additional $1 million in the budget for NCUA's Community Development Revolving Loan program, as well as continued funding of the Treasury Departments Community Development Financial Institution's program, despite controversy over the level of funding. "In addition," Dollar said, "I want to encourage credit unions to take a look at the many initiatives the President has announced in this 2004 budget, including increased funding for mortgage lending initiatives and financial counseling, as well as innovative homeownership programs – all of these truly support America's credit unions' heartbeat of service and continues to be consistent with NCUA's Access Across America initiative." President Bush's budget plan, as it relates to credit unions, portends to build upon the efforts of community-based, charitable organizations, increase the number of minority homeowners, raises incentives for small businesses to grow and invest, and increases the budgets for the House Counseling program by 22% and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation by 9%.

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