Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chair of the Republican Study Committee (RSC), introduced a bill that would cap at FY07 levels funding for housing programs he characterizes as “welfare.”
The Welfare Reform Act of 2011, H.R. 1167, identifies as “means-tested welfare spending” 77 federal programs that provide assistance or benefits. The bill does exclude from this definition programs designed exclusively or primarily for veterans and programs that offer universal eligibility to people who are working.
Eleven types of housing assistance are identified as means-tested welfare including Section 8, Public Housing, HOME Investment Partnership Program, Homeless Assistance Grants, Housing for the Elderly, Housing for Persons with Disabilities, Native American Housing Block Grants, Rural Housing Insurance Fund, Rural Housing Service, state housing expenditures, and “other assisted housing programs.” Community and economic development programs serving low income households are also named in the bill.
The bill would cap funding for these programs at their FY07, pre-recession funding levels, adjusting for inflation for each year until the year of enactment. The bill would not lower funding for these programs until the unemployment rate drops to 6.5%.
The bill would also enforce and impose stricter work restrictions on recipients of food stamps, prioritizing households who are determined to include “work eligible” adults who receive housing assistance.
The bill had five co-sponsors when it was introduced on March 17. It was referred to the House Committees on Ways and Means, Budget, Rules, Agriculture, and Energy and Commerce.
The RSC, a group of 175 socially and fiscally conservative Republican representatives, paid for a video to promote the bill as responsible spending, saying the growth in the last two decades of programs in H.R. 1167 is far greater than the growth of defense spending.
View H.R. 1167 at: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BILLS-112hr1167ih/pdf/BILLS-112hr1167ih.pdf
View the RSC video in support of H.R. 1167 at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6g7tj7NLQU