In a May 31 letter to House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies (THUD) Chairman Tom Latham (R-IA) and Ranking Member John Olver (D-MA), NLIHC called for robust funding for HUD programs serving extremely low income households, as well as protections for those households.
In the letter, NLIHC President Sheila Crowley urged House appropriators to “continue to attempt to protect extremely low income households currently served by HUD’s housing programs” by providing strong funding for the Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance, Public Housing Operating and Capital, HOME and Homeless Assistance programs. Ms. Crowley also urged the Subcommittee to “reject the proposals in the President’s FY13 budget request that would be harmful to the lowest income tenants” including the Administration’s proposal to increase and make mandatory minimum rent provisions and the proposal to increase the medical deduction threshold (see Memo, 2/17).
NLIHC also joined 40 members of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) in urging House THUD appropriators to provide strong funding for all HUD programs. In a June 1 letter, CHCDF members urged Chairman Latham and Ranking Member Olver to “protect low income Americans by preserving funding for programs in the Department of Housing and Urban Development.” CHCDF members also urged the Subcommittee to “abide by the principle that low income households should not be made worse off by spending reductions; this includes ensuring that increased housing or other cost burdens for these households are not created by deficit reduction efforts.”
The House THUD Subcommittee is expected to mark up its FY13 spending bill as early as the week of June 4. The Senate Committee on Appropriations marked up its FY13 THUD and Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies spending bills in April and May, respectively (see Memo, 4/20 and 5/4).
On May 31, the House Committee on Appropriations passed its Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill, with an increase in funding to $1.35 billion for Veterans Affairs (VA) homeless programs. The President’s FY13 budget request included $1.35 billion in additional funding for VA homeless programs. The Senate met this request in its Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies bill, which passed the Senate Committee on Appropriations in May.
It is unclear how many appropriations bills the House and Senate will bring to the floor for consideration prior to the November election. Instead of passing all of its appropriations bills in time for the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, Congress is expected to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded until after the election and then complete the FY13 spending bills after the election in the lame duck session.
After the election, Congress is also expected to focus on the sequestration of discretionary funding enacted by the Budget Control Act of 2011 and scheduled to begin in January 2013. A coalition of nearly 60 organizations focusing on protecting programs serving low and middle income households through non-defense discretionary spending has formed in preparation for post-election efforts on modifying sequestration.
The Non-Defense Discretionary Coalition is hosting an event, “Understanding the Sequester & Uniting Against It,” on June 4 from 3 to 4:30 pm at National Education Association, Chanin Auditorium, 1201 16th Street NW, Washington, DC. Robert Greenstein, president of the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, will speak. RSVPs are required as space is limited, and organizations are asked to send no more than one person. Please RSVP to email@example.com.
The CHCDF letter is attached.