House, Senate Pass Bill Funding Government Through September

A little after midnight this morning, the Senate voted to pass a $1.3 trillion spending bill that will fund the government through the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30. The House voted to pass the measure yesterday afternoon, and President Trump was expected to sign it today.

Under the bill, the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) and 504 loan programs’ funding caps will rise to $29 billion and $7.5 billion, respectively. The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund will be fully funded, including $25 million for the Bank Enterprise Awards, which is the only program to which CDFI banks have had regular access in recent years.

The bill authorizes a 12.5 percent increase in low-income housing tax credit allocations for 2018-21, restoring a portion of the LIHTC value lost under tax reform. It also addresses the so-called grain glitch, a tax bill provision that tilted the playing field toward grain cooperatives over investor-owned companies and, as Bert Ely pointed out in last month’s issue of Farm Credit Watch, might have expanded Farm Credit System market share if not corrected.

The bill extends the National Flood Insurance Program through July 31. By decoupling the NFIP from short-term government spending bills, lawmakers hope to advance a multi-year reauthorization bill — a long-standing ABA priority.