The House and Senate Committees on Appropriations closed their Member request period for the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Agriculture, and Related Agencies (THUD) and Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies subcommittees the week of April 22 with a flurry of activity.
Representative Ruben Hinojosa (D-TX) sent a letter signed by 63 Members of the House to the House Agriculture subcommittee in support of funding for Rural Housing Service programs. This request included $26 million for the Section 514 program, $64.5 million for the Section 515 program, $9 million for the Section 516 program, and $907 million for the Section 521 Rental Assistance program.
Numerous Representatives sent letters to the House THUD subcommittee. Representative Jerrod Nadler (D-NY) wrote a letter in support of “proper” funding for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance, and the Public Housing Operating and Capital Funds that was signed by 63 Representatives.
Eighty-six Members signed a letter by Representative Marsha Fudge (D-OH) that supported $1.6 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships program.
Representatives Nadler, Joseph Crowley (D-NY), and Jim McDermott (D-WA) sent a letter signed by 83 members of the House in support of funding the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program at $335 million.
A letter by Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) calling for “robustly funding” Homeless Assistance Grants was supported by 82 Representatives.
Representatives Robert Brady (D-PA), Peter King (R-NY), Lou Barletta (R-PA), Chris Gibson (R-NY), Jim McGovern (D-MA), and Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO) circulated a bipartisan letter in support of funding the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) at $3.3 billion. The letter was signed by 144 Members of the House.
Representatives Al Green (D-TX), Michael Grimm (R-NY), and Mike Michaud (D-ME) circulated a letter in support of $75 million in funding for new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers in FY14. Eighty-four Representatives signed the letter.
Mr. Green also sent a letter supporting $44.1 million in FY14 funding for the Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP) that was signed by 63 Members of the House.
Representative Maxine Waters also circulated a letter in support of $19.9 billion for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, $11.5 billion for Project-Based Rental Assistance, $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund, $2 billion the for Public Housing Capital Fund, and $3.3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The letter was signed by 67 Members of the House.
A number of Senators submitted “dear colleague” funding requests to the Senate THUD subcommittee as well. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chris Coons (D-DE) requested $1.2 billion in FY14 funding for the HOME program. The letter was signed by 30 Members of the Senate.
Senator Leahy also sent a letter supporting CDBG of $3.3 billion in FY14 with 39 signers.
In other “dear colleague” letters:
- Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) sent a letter requesting that the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly program be funded at $400 million and that Section 811 Housing for People with Disabilities program cut proposed by the President be restored.
- Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) requested $335 million in FY14 HOPWA funding.
- Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) requested that the subcommittee “strongly support” the Homeless Assistance Grants and provide “robust funding” for new Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) vouchers in FY14.
- Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Robert Menendez’s (D-NJ) supported $10.7 billion in funding for the Project-Based Rental Assistance program.
- Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)’s letter to the Senate Agriculture subcommittee requesting strong FY14 funding for the USDA’s Rural Housing Service programs.
The House and Senate THUD and Agriculture subcommittees will now review the requests included in these letters and the letters submitted by Senators personally. These requests will be considered as appropriations staff begins crafting their subcommittee bills over the coming weeks.