The U.S. House of Representatives may vote on its draft Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2024 as soon as a new Speaker is elected to replace Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), who was ousted from his leadership position earlier this week.
While the House cannot vote on legislation or amendments on the House floor without a speaker in place, committee work can continue. The House Committee on Rules is set to meet as soon as next week to determine which amendments will be approved to receive a vote on the House floor. Once the House elects a new speaker, lawmakers can then hold a vote on the THUD spending bill and several amendments.
It is critical that advocates use this time to weigh in with members of Congress. Several harmful amendments have been proposed, including amendments to further cut federal investments in affordable housing and harm America’s lowest-income and most marginalized households.
Advocates should contact their representatives as soon as possible and urge them to OPPOSE any amendments to:
- Cut federal investments in affordable housing and homelessness, including, but not limited to:
- Eliminating funding for the Housing for Persons with AIDs (HOPWA) program, as proposed by Rep. Davidson (R-OH).
- Cutting in half funding for Community Development Block Grants, as proposed by Rep. Grothman (R-WI).
- Reducing HUD funding by $4.95 billion, as proposed by Rep. Rosendale (R-MT), or to FY19 levels, as proposed by Rep. Buck (R-CO).
- Cutting funding for fair housing activities and rental assistance, as proposed by Rep. Brecheen (R-OK).
- Undermine HUD’s ability to use evidence-based approaches to address homelessness (Rep. Barr (R-KY)).
- Force mixed-status immigrant households to separate or face eviction from HUD housing (Rep. Burlison (R-MO)).
- Prevent HUD from advancing racial equity or diversity, in line with amendments offered by Rep. Self (R-TX), Rep. Norman (R-SC), and two amendments from Rep. Grothman (R-WI).
- Weaken HUD’s Equal Access rule and allow shelters to discriminate against transgender individuals experiencing homelessness (Rep. Norman (R-SC)).
- Undermine fair housing laws and enforcement, including by:
- Restrict access to federal housing benefits, including by:
Tell Congress that it cannot balance the federal budget at the expense of people with the lowest incomes! Advocates can take action TODAY in the following ways:
- Contact your representatives to urge them to expand – not cut – investments in affordable, accessible homes through the FY24 spending bill and to oppose any harmful amendments that would make it more difficult for people with the greatest needs to access accessible, affordable homes.
- Join over 2,100 organizations by signing on to a national letter from the Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF), calling on Congress to oppose budget cuts and instead to support the highest level of funding possible for affordable housing, homelessness, and community development resources in FY24.
After enacting a 45-day continuing resolution just hours before a government shutdown would have taken place, Congress now has until November 17 to approve final spending bills or risk another government shutdown. Both the House and Senate are working to advance their draft spending bills before congressional leaders return to negotiations.
While advocates across the country have done tremendous work to ensure that neither the House nor Senate FY24 spending bills drastically cut funding for vital HUD programs, including rental assistance and Homeless Assistance Grants, the road to enacting a final FY24 spending bill with sufficient HUD funding is steep.
The House version proposes funding HUD at $68.2 billion, a $6.4 billion (or roughly 10%) increase to HUD programs over previously enacted levels. HUD needs an approximately $13 billion increase in funding over current levels, however, just to maintain existing assistance. For more details about the House proposal, see NLIHC’s full analysisand updated budget chart. Learn about the Senate proposal here.
The House could vote on the THUD spending bill and possibly several amendments as soon as next week. These amendments could further cut federal investments in affordable housing and homelessness or make it more difficult for people with the lowest incomes to access accessible, affordable housing.
Members of Congress need to hear from advocates! Urge them to expand federal investments in affordable housing and homelessness and protect low-income renters and people experiencing homelessness.