Pelosi Coronavirus Bill Orders Federal Agencies To Maximize Use of Minority Banks

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

The bill being pushed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the Democrat alternative to the White House-backed efforts to rescue the economy includes a requirement that federal agencies maximize their use of minority-owned banks.

The bill would order the Treasury Secretary to designate certain banks as ‘minority banks’ and publish a list of approved institutions. This list would be distributed to federal agencies, local and state governments, and interested private sector companies.

The bill says that each federal agency “shall develop and implement standards and procedures to ensure, to the maximum extent possible as permitted by law, the use of minority banks and minority credit unions to serve the financial needs of each such department or agency.”

Federal agencies are required to report within two years of the bill’s passage on actions taken to increase the use of minority banks, highlighting just how little connection the provision has to dealing with the acute economic emergency created by the coronavirus. Each agency will have to submit a similar report every year after the initial report.

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