COVID-19: House unveils next relief package

on 9:08 AM

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) unveiled the Democratic majority’s next phase COVID-19 policy proposal—titled the HEROES Act—on Tuesday.

“This draft legislation makes it clear that there is a lot more work for Congress to do to ensure that as the economy reopens, consumers and small businesses have what they need to recover,” said CUNA Chief Advocacy Officer Ryan Donovan. “The good news is that this is the first step, not the last word.”“

“There are a number of provisions that will help in the recovery, like the $1 billion appropriations for the Community Development Financial Institution Fund. However, those provisions are offset by ones that are steps backwards, not to mention the beneficial policy proposals left on the table robbing small businesses of critical access to credit,” Donovan said. “We look forward to working with Congress to enact a bill that will do what needs to be done to help consumers, small business and the economy recover.”

Since the passage of the CARES Act last month, CUNA and the Leagues have asked lawmakers to include provisions that would allow credit unions to support those most affected by the COVID-19 emergency, including:

  • Temporarily removing or raising the statutory member business lending cap. CUNA supports legislation to exempt COVID-19 business loans from the cap and NCUA Chairman Rodney Hood has called for Congress to temporarily raise the cap to 20% of assets (up from the current 12.25%);
  • Increasing funding for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), which have a proven track record of helping the people who need it most. CUNA has signed onto several letters calling for a $1 billion appropriation for the Treasury’s CDFI Fund;
  • Expanding the borrowing ability of the Central Liquidity Facility to 25 times the paid in capital, extend the expanded borrowing authority until the end of 2021 and make permanent the ability of corporate credit unions to act as agents for credit unions; and
  • Temporarily reducing the level at which credit unions are considered well capitalized from a net-worth ratio of 7% to 6% and adequately capitalized from 6% to 5% during the pandemic.