Congress returns this week after a two-week recess with just four days to pass spending bills for the remainder of FY17 by the April 28 deadline to avoid a government shutdown. Failure to pass full spending bills puts vital investments in affordable housing and community development at risk.
There are multiple issues that could derail efforts to pass the FY17 spending bills. Democrats warned their colleagues across the aisle that they will not accept a package with poison-pill riders, including defunding Planned Parenthood and funding a border security wall. Another sticking point is the administration’s threat to stop funding subsidies paid to health care insurers to lower out-of-pocket expenses for low income people who purchase plans through health care exchanges.
The White House has also signaled that if Congress does not include its supplemental request for more funding for defense and national security, President Trump might veto the spending package. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney stated, “If Congress has different ideas about how to accomplish [the administration’s] goals, we are more than happy to talk about that. If they ignore them completely, then they have to face the fact that the president has to sign spending bills.”
There are indications that Congress may seek to pass a one-week Continuing Resolution funding the government at FY16 levels to give them additional time for negotiations.
NLIHC and the Campaign for Housing and Community Development (CHCDF) will hold a national call-in day on April 26, during which advocates are urged to contact their members of Congress to tell them to pass full spending bills for the remainder of FY17.