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Message to the Congress Transmitting Community Development Banking and Finance Legislation

July 15, 1993

To the Congress of the United States:

I am pleased to submit to the Congress the "Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1993". This legislative initiative will promote the creation of community development financial institutions that will empower individuals and communities and provide for greater economic opportunity. Also transmitted are a statement of the Administration's principles embodied in this proposal and a section-by-section analysis.

In too many urban and rural communities, there is a lack of capital and credit. Lending in distressed communities, particularly to small businesses, can be complicated. It may require special expertise and knowledge of the borrower and the community, credit products, subsidies, and secondary markets. Community development financial institutions—including community development banks like South Shore Bank in Chicago, community credit unions such as Self-Help in North Carolina, community development corporations, micro-enterprise loan funds, and revolving loan funds—have demonstrated that they can provide capital, credit, and development services in distressed areas and to targeted populations.

The bill proposes establishment of a Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Fund that would support a program of investment in community development financial institutions. The Fund would provide financial and technical assistance to, and serve as a national information clearinghouse for, community development financial institutions.

This initiative reaffirms my commitment to helping communities help themselves. By ensuring greater access to capital and credit, we will tap the entrepreneurial energy of America's poorest communities and enable individuals and communities to become self-sufficient.

My Administration is also committed to enhancing the role of traditional financial institutions with respect to community reinvestment. As a complement to the community development financial institutions initiative, we will adopt regulatory changes to more effectively implement the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977. These changes will replace paperwork with performance-oriented standards and will include tougher enforcement measures for noncompliance.

In order to secure early enactment of legislation in this crucial area, I urge the Congress to consider the Community Development Banking and Financial Institutions Act of 1993 as a discrete bill, separate from general issues of financial services reform and any other non-germane amendments.


The White House,

July 15, 1993

William J. Clinton, Message to the Congress Transmitting Community Development Banking and Finance Legislation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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