President Clinton and other proponents of the free-trade pact said the bank, the North American Development Bank, could use its lending authority to leverage up to $8 billion for the projects.
Its president, Antonio Ortiz Mena, says the bank still has enough to maintain current lending levels for another year but needs $25 billion in fresh lending authority to function through 1990.
It follows a decision to eliminate the lending authority of the bank in the Administration's budget for the fiscal year 1990, to be submitted to Congress Monday.
William C. Danvers, staff director of the House Subcommittee on International Finance, Trade and Monetary Policy, termed the loss of direct lending authority "a matter of real concern."
Indeed, Congress may well increase the bank's lending authority beyond the level of the budget request.
But the conferees insisted that the amount be dropped to $8.5 billion, arguing that Congress could authorize greater lending authority later, if necessary.
Atlanta is taking $5 million of the $100 million Congress set aside for the city's "empowerment zone" to leverage a much larger infusion of capital for a for-profit, inner-city lending authority.
Its functions were similar to those of the SWPC, except that ultimate lending authority was retained by the RFC.
Mechanics of Borrowing The $45 billion lending authority would be accomplished by counting a $5 billion existing line of credit with the Treasury as equity.
The Act eliminated earlier provisions relating to government capitalization of the System, and expanded the lending authorities of many System institutions.