Jan 13, 2021 - Economy

Ro Khanna: Government must focus lending on rural and minority communities

Screenshot of axios event

Photo: Axios screenshot

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) said during an Axios virtual event that the Federal Reserve Board needs to be able to give loans in rural and minority communities, which have been some of the most affected during the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: People in rural and minority communities have been disproportionally impacted by the coronavirus.

What he's saying: "[W]e need to give the Fed more explicit authority to relook at how they have lending, and make sure that lending isn't concentrated just to financial institutions and large corporations, that they're using their regional banks to be regional economic development banks considering rural and minority communities," Khanna said.

  • "We need to infuse [the Small Business Administration] with loans. I would do $10 trillion over 10 years to have 200,000 more loans to small businesses across America," he continued.
  • "[T]hose loans should be targeted ... to minority communities through minority development institutions. Most of the minority development lending, as you know, was Asian-American. And so, even black and brown communities have been excluded from minority development institutes. So we have to make that more inclusive. I would target it to rural communities which have had a shrinking of community banks."
  • "I really think the concentration of capital is part of what has left communities behind. And this is something that rural communities have in common with minority urban areas."

Watch the full event here.

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