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Senator Hassan Pushes Back on Backward Priorities for Small Businesses in Trump Administration’s Budget for FY 2020

Senator Hassan Questions Secretary Mnuchin on Budget Proposal that Would Eliminate Vital Program that Promotes Innovation, Entrepreneurship, and Small Businesses in New Hampshire

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To watch the Senator’s questioning, click here.

WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today participated in a Senate Finance Committee hearing, where she pushed back on the backward priorities for small businesses in the Trump Administration’s FY 2020 budget, which include eliminating the Treasury Department’s Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) Program. This program leverages loans and grants to assist Community Development Financial Institutions such as the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, which has provided critical support to small businesses throughout New Hampshire. The Senator noted how the tax cuts delivered to the top one percent from the Republican tax law are far greater than the funding for the Community Development Financial Institution Program.

Senator Hassan began her questioning by emphasizing the importance of the Community Development Financial Institution Program in New Hampshire, saying, “In my state, the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, a non-profit Community Development Financial Institution in Concord, has been increasing access to capital for Granite Staters, especially small businesses in economically distressed areas of our state, for more than 35 years. In fact they came by my office yesterday.”

When asked by Senator Hassan how much the budget slashes from the program, Secretary Mnunchin replied, “I don’t have that chart with us, but I’d be happy to follow up with you.” The Senator had already informed Secretary Mnunchin that the budget proposal includes complete elimination of the Community Development Financial Institution Program that has provided support to the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund.

In further pressing Secretary Mnunchin on the Trump Administration’s backward approach to supporting small businesses, Senator Hassan noted, “Meanwhile, Mr. Secretary, the Administration told the American people that the new pass-through deduction in the 2017 tax law would give a boost to Main Street entrepreneurs. But in fact the Joint Committee on Taxation found that in 2018 the top one percent received over $20 billion in tax cuts from this new deduction. Now after billions in tax cuts that were supposed to help small businesses have actually gone to the top one percent, the Administration wants to slash the vital CDFI program.”

In responding to Senator Hassan, Secretary Mnunchin pointed out that “difficult decisions” were made in the budget.

Senator Hassan concluded, “The tough choices are going to be for small businesses in economically distressed areas that can’t get necessary capital to invest and create jobs just where we need them the most. That reflects this Administration’s priorities and I just have to tell you I think that’s backwards. I think we should be focused on where we need to help people start small businesses, create jobs in the most economically depressed areas of our country and certainly in my state that elimination of CDFI is going to have a real impact.”