On May 24, the House Appropriations Committee approved the draft 302b subcommittee allocations announced earlier in May (see Memo, 5/13). The overall spending limit included in the House’s budget resolution is divided among the appropriations subcommittees. These subcommittee allocations are referred to as the 302b allocations and are the maximum amount of funds that a subcommittee can appropriate in that fiscal year. The subcommittee that funds HUD also funds the Department of Transportation, the Federal Maritime Commission, the National Railroad Passenger Commission, the National Transportation Safety Board, the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness. This subcommittee is called Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD).
The House’s FY12 302b allocation for the T-HUD subcommittee is 36% below the President’s FY12 request and 14% below the total FY11 appropriation for this subcommittee.
NLIHC joined 34 other members of the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHDCF) on May 27 in sending a letter to House appropriators expressing deep concern over the Committee’s approval of the 302b subcommittee allocations. “[We] recognize that the nation must reduce its deficit, but slashing housing and community development programs that serve vulnerable families will not solve our long-term fiscal problems,” wrote CHCDF members. “In both the short and long term, underfunding of housing and community development programs will increase costs for federal, state and local governments. In contrast… HUD’s programs are key to preventing hardship and to continuing economic recovery.”
The Senate also moved forward with its FY12 budget and appropriations work. The Senate voted May 25 on a motion to vote on the House-passed budget resolution, which failed by a vote of 40 to 57. All Democrats, the two Independents, and five Republicans voted against proceeding to the House resolution. The Senate Committee on the Budget has not marked up its FY12 budget resolution in deference to bipartisan budget negotiations led by Vice President Biden, which are currently underway.
The Senate Committee on Appropriations began accepting FY12 funding requests from individual Senators. As with the House request process, Senators are now only able to request programmatic funding levels for the programs valued in their states, not earmarked funding for specific projects.
Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) is circulating a letter in support of funding the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program at $362 million. The deadline for this letter is May 31 but may be extended.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) circulated a Dear Colleague letter in support of the “highest possible level” of funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. The deadline for the letter is May 30.
Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Daniel Akaka (D-HI), Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) circulated a letter to restore funding to the Housing Counseling program at the FY10 level of $87.5 million. The letter closed on May 27.
NLIHC also signed onto a letter to the Senate coordinated by the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights urging the Senate to protect persons of color, women, children, low to moderate income workers, people with disabilities, consumers, elders, people of faith, English language learners, LGBT people, educators, and many other Americans in its decisions regarding the debt ceiling. The May 24 letter offers several principles to preserve funding for safety net programs and insist that low and moderate income households should not be made worse off by the Senate’s deficit reduction decisions.
View the HOPWA letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/HOPWA-Letter-5-24-11.pdf
View the Housing Counseling letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/HC-Letter-5-24-11.pdf
View the CDBG letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/CDBG-Letter-5-24-11.pdf
View the letter from CHCDF: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/CHCDF-Letter-5-27-11.pdf
View LCCHR’s letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/LCCHR-Letter-5-24-11.pdf