The March 4 expiration of the current Continuing Resolution (CR) funding the government is fast approaching. Congress has not yet reached agreement on how to proceed with FY11 funding decisions. The House and Senate must either pass another CR or a full year funding bill prior to March 4 in order to prevent a government shutdown.
On February 25, House leaders unveiled a draft FY11 CR, “Further Continuing Appropriations Amendments, 2011” that would provide funding to the government through March 18. This CR would cut numerous programs below the FY10 funding levels. The HUD Community Development Fund (CDF) would be cut by nearly $200 million. CDF was funded at $4.45 billion in FY10. President Obama requested only $4.38 billion for the program in FY11 and only $3.8 for the program in FY12. The CR would provide no funding for Economic Development Initiatives Grants (AKA earmarks) which were funded at $173 million in FY10, or for neighborhood initiatives.
Reports indicate that the Senate will agree to the cuts proposed by the House in this new short term CR which is expected to be brought to the House floor as early as March 1. If the Senate agrees, these cuts would be likely to set a threshold for further debate between the House and Senate on funding for the remainder of FY11. The Senate is also crafting a CR that would fund the government for the remainder of FY11.
The House passed its FY11 funding bill, H.R. 1, the Full Year Continuing Appropriations Act for FY11, on February 19. The bill included a $5.7 billion cut to HUD’s $43.5 billion FY10 funding level, eliminating or reducing funding for such HUD programs as the Public Housing Capital and Operating funds, Native American Housing Block Grants, Community Development Block Grants, HOME Investment Partnerships program, the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program and the Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program (see Memo, 2/18).
While FY11 funding decisions are pending, the House and Senate will also begin FY12 appropriations work next week. The House Financial Services Committee will hold a hearing on the FY12 HUD budget on March 1 at 2pm in Room 2128 of the Rayburn House office building. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan will testify.
The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies has scheduled a hearing on the President's HUD budget request on March 3 at 10 am, also with HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. The hearing will be held in Room 138 of the Dirksen Senate office building.