Making good on Republican plans to cut discretionary FY11 spending, Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced H.R. 235, the Cut Unsustainable and Top-Heavy Spending Act of 2011. The bill would rescind, reduce or eliminate dozens of discretionary spending programs totaling $44 billion.
The legislation does not target housing programs though it would eliminate HUD’s Brownfields Redevelopment Program. President Obama did not include the program in his FY11 budget request, but the House appropriated $17.5 million for it in the FY11 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development bill. H.R. 235 would require the federal government to transfer excess property to HUD which then could use it to assist the homeless population.
Mr. Brady’s bill, along with others introduced early this session, is one of what is expected to be a long line of proposals from House Republicans to reduce discretionary spending for FY11 and future fiscal years.
Senators Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) continue to generate interest among their Senate colleagues to cut discretionary spending. They plan to craft a proposal to reduce the deficit based largely on recommendations made by the President’s Fiscal Commission (see Memo, 12/3/10). The commission called for reductions in discretionary spending that could negatively impact HUD programs.
Congress must act on FY11 appropriations prior to March 4 when the current continuing resolution (CR) funding the government expires. The federal government has been funded under four CRs since the start of the fiscal year on October 1 (see Memo, 1/7). The House Committee on Appropriations may introduce a single FY11 appropriations bill or multiple bills as early as the end of January.