Budget Committee Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) announced the House FY11 302a allocation, the figure that establishes the overall spending cap for domestic discretionary programs. Mr. Ryan proposed a 302a figure that would revert to FY08 spending levels and harm HUD programs.
Customarily, the full Budget Committee establishes the 302a allocation. However, in the 112th Congress, the House voted in favor of a new rules package and in favor of a resolution that both allow the Budget Committee Chair to establish the 302a figure independent of Budget Committee members (see Memo, 1/7, 1/28).
The next step in the budgeting process is that the Appropriations Committee sets 302b allocations. These allocations establish the spending cap for each of the 12 appropriations subcommittees. Continuing the changes in customary processes, Mr. Ryan provided 302b recommendations to House Appropriations Committee Chair Harold Rogers (R-KY) instead of allowing the Appropriations Committee to craft the 302b allocations.
Following the 302a announcement, Mr. Rogers announced the 302b allocations for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development subcommittee that would cut current FY10 funding by 17% and cut the President’s FY11 budget request by 18%. The allocation of $56.3 billion proposed by the Committee would cut $11.6 billion from FY10 levels and $12.4 billion below the President’s request. This is the largest percentage cut to any of the 12 appropriations subcommittees.
Depending upon how cuts are allocated between HUD and Transportation programs, these cuts could slash spending for many HUD programs. Hundreds of thousands of households currently housed affordably through the voucher program, the project-based Section 8 program, and McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance grants could be evicted from their housing due to these cuts. Other HUD programs could be reduced and thus serve far fewer households.
Since it is more than five months into the fiscal year and Congress has yet to pass any of its 12 appropriations bills, the House plans to shorten the appropriations process. Mr. Rogers is expected to introduce an FY11 omnibus appropriations package the week of February 7. Congress is currently operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on March 4. In order to prevent a government shutdown, Congress must either pass an omnibus appropriations bill or another short term CR to allow more time to come to agreement on FY11 funding levels.
This week the Senate also proposed funding policy changes that would harm HUD programs. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) introduced S. J. Res. 4, a resolution that would require government spending not exceed the revenue received during that fiscal year or 20% of the gross domestic product (GDP). Such benchmarks, which may have made sense decades ago, would be unrealistic today, according to analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Federal commitment to the nation's elderly and disabled populations, homeland security, and other broad new commitments mean a spending target of 20% of the GDP would not be possible "without making draconian cuts in Social Security, Medicare, and an array of other vital federal activities," according to a CBPP paper from July 2010.
NLIHC issued a “Call to Action” on the release of the House FY11 allocations and asked members to voice objections to their Representatives.
View NLIHC’s “Call to Action” at http://nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=7640&id=27
View the House Budget Committee 302a Statement at http://budget.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=223391
View the House Appropriations Committee 302b Statement at http://www.nlihc.org/doc/2311_Subcommittee_Allocations_FY11CR_302b.pdf
Access the CBPP paper at http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=3246