The House will continue its appropriations work with a May 25 hearing on public housing. The Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies will hear from HUD Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing Sandra Henriquez at the 10 am hearing, which will be in room 2358 of the Rayburn House office building. A May 24 hearing on Community Planning and Development with HUD Assistant Secretary Mercedes Marquez has been postponed until after Memorial Day recess (see article on HOME program elsewhere in Memo).
The Senate Committee on Budget, despite reportedly being close to completing its FY12 budget resolution, decided to delay markup of a budget resolution until a broader deficit reduction plan is devised by the Vice President’s bipartisan working group. The working group is expected to share a portion of its plan shortly. Budget Committee Chair Kent Conrad (D-ND) had been working both within his Committee and as a participant in the “Gang of Six,” a bipartisan group of Senators developing a deficit reduction proposal, to craft a budget resolution he could bring to the Senate floor. Unable to assuage both liberal and more conservative members of the Senate Budget Committee, negotiations were focused on the Gang of Six and on negotiations led by Vice President Joseph Biden.
The Gang of Six’s incomplete proposal was at one point expected to provide the framework for the Senate budget resolution. However, the group lost one of its members prior to coming to final agreement on its proposal when Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) announced on May 16 that he was withdrawing. The deficit reduction negotiations led by the Vice President are now the active bipartisan effort to craft a deficit reduction plan.
Meanwhile, the Senate is expected to vote on the House-passed budget resolution the week of May 23. Since the Senate Budget Committee missed the April 15 statutory deadline for passing a budget resolution, the Appropriations Committee is free to begin its FY12 budget process.