Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Directs $16 million to Native Community Development Programs Through Small Dollar Loan Programs

July 31, 2020
Press Release
Washington, DCRep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) announced the funding of multiple financial programs central to efforts to provide greater economic opportunity to Americans and making sure the U.S. financial system is accountable to the American taxpayer. As part of the Fiscal Year 2021 Financial Services and General Government funding bill, millions were allocated for small loans, anti-trafficking operations, and financial crimes enforcement which directly benefit Hawai‘i residents. The bill, which was passed by the House Appropriations Committee and then included as part of the “minibus” — a combination of 6 smaller funding bills — was passed by the House of Representatives today.
 
“Hawai‘i’s unique location at the crossroads of trade and travel in the Asia-Pacific region means we are faced with unique opportunities and challenges. I worked to include funding in this bill to  help authorities monitor illicit financial transactions and trafficking which are a persistent concern in the region,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “We also secured funding for financial institutions focused on lending to underserved communities. The small dollar loan programs they offer help people on the path to financial independence and provide a superior alternative to predatory payday lenders. As part of this initiative, $16 million will be available to community financial institutions serving our native communities.”
 
Rep. Gabbard’s efforts raised awareness of the vital work of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in the Asia-Pacific region and launched a report by the Treasury Department to analyze trends in money laundering in the Pacific. She supported Hawai‘i’s work to combat drug trafficking by cosponsoring an effort which grants $270 million to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas Program.
 
Rep. Gabbard pushed for $16 million for native community development financial institutions,  another $10 million in small dollar loans for community development financial institutions which will support individuals seeking community-friendly banking, and $6 million  dedicated towards technical and financial assistance for individuals with disabilities.
 
She also secured an extension of Hawai‘i’s temporary judgeship and federal judiciary powers which allows for legal matters in the state to be settled more expediently.
 
Additionally, she advocated for robust funding for a number of Small Business Administration programs, including the Disaster Loans Program, which provides critical financial support for those affected by unexpected and declared disasters, and funding assistance for Small Business Development Centers like Hawaii SBDC.
 
Background: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has long been an advocate for protecting American consumers and businesses from financial crime. She recently introduced the Money Mule Awareness Act, aimed at preventing criminals from exploiting Americans for illicit financial schemes.
 
More broadly, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has fought for more equitable access to and responsible oversight of the financial sector. She has long been a critic of Wall Street and big banks, and has consistently worked to make the financial sector more accessible and accountable to individuals and communities, especially in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. She has voted against and urged her colleagues to oppose measures that would weaken consumer protections
 
Last year, Rep. Gabbard introduced H.R. 3885, the Wall Street Banker Accountability for Misconduct Act, which would hold senior executives at Wall Street’s biggest banks accountable for misconduct under their watch. 
 
About Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is serving her fourth term in the United States House representing Hawai‘i’s Second District, and serves on the House Armed Services and Financial Services Committees. She previously served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Homeland Security Committee. She was elected to the Honolulu City Council in 2010, and prior to that at age 21, was elected to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature in 2002, becoming the youngest person ever elected in the state. Tulsi Gabbard has served in the Hawaiʻi Army National Guard for over 17 years, is a veteran of two Middle East deployments, and continues to serve as a Major. Learn more about Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.
 
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