WASHINGTON-As of deadline last week, the Senate had not yet held a vote on H.R. 2861, the Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2004, though the legislation was debated on the floor. According to NCUA Special Assistant for Legislative Affairs Gail Galvan, the $1.5 million funding level for NCUA’s Community Development Revolving Loan Fund had survived amendment during debate. Historically, the funding has been capped at $1 million with about $300,000 going toward technical assistance grants for low-income credit unions and the remainder for funds. However, the House version of the bill includes just $1 million solely for grants, so a conference will likely have to sort out the differences between the two. The Senate’s version is divided into $800,000 for grants and $700,000 for loans. Galvan said she believed Congress would boost the CDRLF’s funding, but the exact dollar amount was iffy. She also predicted that if a vote did not occur last Wednesday, the VA-HUD Appropriations Bill would be wrapped up into an omnibus appropriations bill in the waning days of the first session of the 108th Congress. Galvan and NCUA Office of Credit Union Development Director Anthony LaCreta have been making the rounds on Capitol Hill all year to shore up more funding for the CDRLF. The borrowing cap for Central Liquidity Facility and Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions Fund are also included in the VA-HUD legislation.

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