Co-chaired by U.S. Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), the bipartisan Senate Community Development Finance Caucus aims to boost capital programs in underserved communities.
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is forming a caucus to support investment programs that economically bolster rural and low-income communities across the country.
The Senate Community Development Finance Caucus aims to help community development financial institutions (CDFIs) that give people and businesses in low-income communities access to financial products and services.
The caucus is co-chaired by U.S. Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Mike Crapo (R-ID,) and is compromised of 14 senators evenly split between Democrats and Republicans.
CDFIs are designed to give an economic boost to low-income communities, which historically have had limited access to the financial products and services needed to invest or start businesses, according to the Treasury Department.
The caucus will also support minority depository institutions (MDIs), banks or credit unions primarily owned or directed by certain minority groups.
Warner said CDFIs delivered billions of dollars to underserved businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) during the COVID-19 pandemic, totaling approximately $34 billion.
He added that CDFIs and MDIs also got a $12 billion investment from the COVID relief package passed in December 2020.
“While Congress took significant steps to support community-based lenders over the last two years on a bipartisan basis, CDFIs continue to need more long-term patient capital, operating capital, and resources to modernize their systems and compete in an era of rapid financial innovation,” Warner said in a news release.
To do so, the caucus said it will prioritize educating other legislators and their staff, come up with legislative efforts to support CDFIs and MDIs and track the implementation of programs and private sector commitments.
The other participating members of the caucus are:
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota)
- Mike Braun (R-Indiana)
- Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia)
- Steve Daines (R-Montana)
- Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island)
- Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi)
- Tina Smith (D-Minnesota)
- Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming)
- Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland)
- Jerry Moran (R-Kansas)
- Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia)
- Mike Rounds (R-South Dakota)