The first Trump Administration budget will propose to cut CDFI Fund appropriations to $19 million for fiscal 2018, which starts in October, according to reports from Washington, DC. That would be a reduction of more than 90% from current funding of $233.5 million. If approved by Congress, President Trump’s proposal would keep the CDFI Fund alive but unable to do much more than operate existing programs.
The Administration is scheduled to unveil its top-level budget on Thursday.
Congress could agree to that number or provide a different funding level.
The $19 million figure is slightly odd, and it suggests a few things. First, it indicates that the cutting was formulaic as well as programmatic. Second, it is not a “zero” budget and gives the Fund the ability to manage existing programs rather than shut them down abruptly. Third, it suggests that the Trump Administration expects Congress to push for higher funding–in that sense, it is a negotiating number.
For the third reason, the $19 million proposal is a call to action for CDFI Fund supporters.
Before Congress makes decisions on the fiscal 2018 budget, however, it must act by April 28th on the Continuing Resolution that is currently funding virtually all government programs. If Congress extends the Continuing Resolution, CDFI Fund appropriations would remain steady at the fiscal 2016 amount of $233.5 million. Congress could cut that amount, however.