NLIHC Joins Sign-On Letter Opposing Harmful Amendment Undermining Voting Access

NLIHC joined a sign-on letter led by the Union of Concerned Scientists urging senators to vote against an amendment to the fiscal year (FY) 2024 appropriations bill that would undermine voter access. Amendment 1243 would bar HUD and other federal agencies from using funding to implement President Biden’s Executive Order on Access to Voting (EO 14019). The Executive Order directs federal agencies to promote nonpartisan voter registration and participation. Amendment 1243 would thwart HUD’s and other agencies’ progress expanding voting access and directly counter decades of federal efforts to facilitate voter participation.

The amendment was introduced by Senator Ted Budd (R-NC) as an addition to the U.S. Senate “minibus” appropriations package, which includes the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) FY24 spending bill. If enacted, the amendment would prevent HUD and other agencies funded by the minibus from using appropriated funds to promote voter access. More than 50 civil rights, voting rights, antipoverty, faith-based, environmental, and other social justice organizations joined the sign-on letter, which was circulated to senators on October 25. The letter notes the amendment contradicts the aims of the bipartisan “National Voter Registration Act” (NVRA), which states that it is the duty of federal, state, and local governments to promote the exercise of the fundamental right to vote.

Following the directive of EO 14019, HUD circulated notices to public housing agencies (PHAs) and owners of HUD-assisted properties to affirm that they are permitted – and actively encouraged – to engage in nonpartisan voter registration, education, and mobilization activities (see Memo, 2/14/2022). NLIHC’s Our Homes, Our Votes campaign – a nonpartisan initiative to boost voter turnout among low-income renters and educate candidates about housing solutions – celebrated HUD’s notices when they were announced in February 2022. The campaign continues to advocate for HUD and Congress to take further steps to facilitate voter participation among low-income renters. Amendment 1243 would thwart progress towards this goal by limiting HUD and other agencies’ capacity to boost voter turnout among the people they serve.

Advocates should continue to reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to vote against this harmful amendment, as well as any other amendments that would decrease funds for HUD’s vital affordable housing and homelessness programs or limit access to housing assistance. The U.S. House of Representatives is slated to vote this week on its own THUD spending bill for FY24, including several amendments that would slash funding to HUD programs, increase barriers to receiving assistance, and block implementation of HUD’s equity initiatives (see Memo, 10/16).

Read the sign-on letter at:

Learn more about Our Homes, Our Votes at: