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Sens. Paul, McConnell, Heller, and Capito Introduce Legislation to Help America’s Rural Communities

March 26, 2015 in Politics & Elections

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation today to help rural communities harmed by Obama Administration policies that restrict access to rural lending opportunities. Sens. Dean Heller (R-NV), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), and Rand Paul (R-KY) are original cosponsors of the Helping Expand Lending Practices in (HELP) Rural Communities Act, which would provide rural communities with better access to credit opportunities that can help grow their local economies.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act of 2010 – permits certain rural lending practices in areas it deems ‘rural’ or ‘underserved.’ However, as many rural communities have noted, the current definition of rural as established by the CFPB excludes a significant number of demonstrably rural areas and neglects to provide rural communities with any input in the process. The CFPB recently put forth a proposal to revise its definition, but once again, it neglected to seek input from rural communities themselves.

The HELP Rural Communities Act would create an appeals process that would allow constituents to petition the CFPB with important local information for reconsideration of their status. This would give rural counties across the country a voice when the CFPB has incorrectly labeled them as ‘non-rural.’ The bill also takes important steps to address the challenges rural communities face by eliminating arbitrary mortgage origination requirements that will ensure that rural communities bordering urban areas are still able to access credit services that are essential to rural small businesses and farmers.

‘The HELP Rural Communities Act is a common sense piece of legislation that would help rural communities obtain their housing needs. I vehemently oppose the actions of overzealous bureaucrats who are limiting financing options in our rural communities. I am proud to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to expand housing options in rural Kentucky,’ Senator Paul said.

‘Under the current, CFPB definition, counties in Kentucky, such as Bath and Trigg, have been labeled as ‘non-rural,’ and are therefore barred from certain rural lending practices that are helpful to farmers and small businesses,’ Senator McConnell said. ‘While I welcome the CFPB’s recent attempts to improve the rural definition, I remain concerned that rural communities – particularly those in Kentucky – have been left without a voice. Our legislation seeks to correct this by putting into statute a process that allows counties that have …read more


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