The U.S. House of Representatives took another step toward extracting deep funding cuts from domestic discretionary programs when the House Appropriations Committee released its draft 302b subcommittee allocations on May 11. The 302b allocations establish the maximum amount that each subcommittee can spend on the departmental budgets within its jurisdiction.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies’ (T-HUD) 302b allocation for FY12 is $47.6 billion, 36% below the President’s FY12 request allocation and 14% below the total FY11 appropriation for this subcommittee.
The House passed an FY12 budget resolution on April 15 that would significantly lower spending levels for FY12 (see Memo, 4/15). The Budget Committee’s paper describing the committee’s vision for the FY12 budget included time limits and work requirements for tenants of subsidized rental housing. The subcommittee allocations indicate the committee’s priorities within the larger budget framework already established by the budget resolution.
In a May 13 press release, NLIHC President and CEO Sheila Crowley expressed the Coalition’s opposition to the 302b allocations. “The Members of the House of Representatives who voted for the Ryan budget plan apparently prefer evicting residents of public and assisted housing, half of whom are elderly or disabled, to asking people who are well-off to pay more in taxes,” Ms. Crowley said. “Already, only 1 in 4 households who are eligible for federal housing assistance receive it, because of funding for HUD does not approach meeting the need. Low income people simply cannot survive one more cut.”
The Senate likely will vote on, and defeat, the House’s budget resolution. Then, Senate Budget Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) is expected to introduce his budget resolution the week of May 16. He released a draft framework for his funding proposal the week of May 9, which would make more cuts to discretionary spending as well as raise revenue. Senator Conrad, a member of the so-called “Gang of Six,” the bipartisan group of senators crafting a deficit reduction proposal, continues to attempt to reach an agreement that can gain bipartisan support (see Memo, 4/29).
The House Committee on Appropriations scheduled two hearings on FY12 HUD funding. The Appropriations T-HUD subcommittee will hold a Community Planning and Development hearing on May 24 at 2 pm. HUD Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development Mercedes Marquez will testify. The subcommittee will then hold a hearing on Public Housing on May 25 at 10 am with HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez as the sole witness. Both hearings will be in room 2358 of the Rayburn House office building.
The T-HUD subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the FY12 bill on July 14, followed by the full Appropriations Committee mark-up on July 26.
The House Appropriations Committee also issued guidance on how individual Members can request funding for specific HUD programs in FY12. With earmarks no longer permitted, Members must use the sign on letter process to request funding for programs that are valued in their districts. Members have until May 20 to make funding or language requests via a “dear colleague” sign on letter.
Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) is circulating a sign on letter to increase Tenant Based Rental Assistance to $19.2 billion for FY12, the level requested in the President’s budget. This request includes fully funding existing vouchers and providing new Veterans Affairs Supported Housing (VASH) vouchers and Housing and Services Vouchers through a collaborative demonstration between HUD and the Department of Health and Human Services. Supporters must sign onto this letter by May 17.
Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) is circulating a letter in support of the McKinney Vento Homeless Assistance Grants. The letter calls for at least funding the program at the President’s request of $2.37 billion to implement the HEARTH Act. The deadline to sign onto this letter is May 20.
Representative Robert Brady (D-PA) is circulating a sign on letter supporting funding the CDBG program at $3.9 billion, above the amount requested by the President in FY12. This letter closes on May 17.
Representative Nadler also circulated a HOPWA funding sign on letter that closed the week of May 9 and received more than 60 signatures from members.
Other sign on letters are expected prior to the May 20 deadline for submission of requests.
View NLIHC’s May 13 press release: http://nlihc.org/detail/article.cfm?article_id=7882&id=48
View the Section 8 letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/Nadler_S8_Sign_On_Letter.pdf
View the McKinney Vento letter: http://nlihc.org/doc/Moore_Sign_On_Letter.pdf
View the CDBG letter: http://nlihc.org/doc/CDBG_Sign_On_Letter.pdf
View the HOPWA letter: http://www.nlihc.org/doc/FY12_HOPWA_Funding_Letter_5-11-11.pdf