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McCollum, Omar Advance Federal Emergency Funding in FY 21 Appropriations Bills for Urban Communities

July 15, 2020
Press Release

As the House Appropriations Committee advanced all 12 appropriations bills to the House floor this week, President Trump denied Minnesota federal emergency assistance through The Stafford Act for recovery efforts following civil unrest and property destruction in the Twin Cities resulting from the killing of Mr. George Floyd.

As representatives for Minnesota’s Fourth and Fifth congressional districts, Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) and Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (DFL-Minn.) added report language in the FY 2021 appropriations bills that would open the door for federal funding for the Twin Cities in the next fiscal year to fund critical investments intended to rebuild neighborhoods that are confronting economic and racial inequality.

“President Trump’s denial of critical emergency assistance to the Twin Cities was a callous political decision that hurt the innocent neighborhoods and businesses devastated by the consequences of civil unrest,” Rep. McCollum said. “The power of the Appropriations Committee provides an avenue to direct federal support to communities in dire need. It is going to take some time, but we have succeeded in advancing language that opens the door for federal funding in the next fiscal year to help with long-term recovery. Along with a new president in the White House, this language will empower the next administration to invest in urban communities working to take on economic and racial inequality. I thank Chairman Price and Chairman Quigley for working with us to address these critical needs. Further, empowering community-led financial institutions with the existing infrastructure to help rebuild and revitalize our communities will set us up for success in our long-term recovery.”  

“Community Development Block Grants provide flexible funding for communities to invest in public facilities, upgrade infrastructure, support small businesses, and restore vacant or blighted properties,” Rep. Price said. “This year’s Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development appropriations bill more than doubles available funding, and it urges localities to re-invest in low- and moderate- income neighborhoods and areas affected by civil unrest. I thank my colleagues, Chair Betty McCollum and Rep. Ilhan Omar, for their steadfast advocacy so that communities in Minnesota and across the country can rebuild, revitalize, and recover.”

“Minnesotans are struggling with a public health pandemic, an economic crisis, and a crisis of systemic racism,” Rep. Omar said. “Along with my colleagues on the Appropriations Committee, I have been advocating that the Twin Cities get the resources needed to recover and rebuild. We are proud to have been effective in securing these resources. Minneapolis alone will get $13.5 million in Community Development Block Grants, a $2.2 million increase to help the city rebuild. We’ve also secured an increase for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund which will expand the capacity of community development organizations to provide financing for underserved businesses and underwrite locally-driven revitalization initiatives in our districts. I am grateful to Rep. McCollum, and Appropriations Committee leaders for their partnership on navigating this critical process.”

Background:

  • The FY 21 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development bill includes increased funding for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), as well as report language noting that CDBG funding can be used to rebuild and revitalize areas affected by civil unrest and urges grantees to consider using CDBG funding in these areas.
  • The FY 21 Financial Services and General Government funding bill includes an amendment successfully secured by Rep. McCollum to provide funding through Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) for businesses that were impacted by the recent civil unrest and underwrite locally-driven revitalization initiatives.

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Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) is a member of the Appropriations Committee and Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies.