Hill Update: The Congressional Agenda

This update is from the National Alliance to End Homelessness.

Hill Update: The Congressional Agenda

Last week, the House finished passing six bills as part of its “First 100 Hours” agenda, including a minimum wage increase. The Senate, which generally passes legislation at a more deliberate pace, completed a bill dealing with ethics rules and earmarks. In the coming weeks, both the House and Senate will try to wrap up the fiscal year 2007 appropriations, which they hope to complete by February 5.

The chairs of the Appropriations Committees – Sen. Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Rep. David Obey (D-WI) – have stated that the 2007 appropriations bill will fund programs at the 2006 level with a few exceptions. An analysis by the Alliance shows that without exceptions for many HUD programs, the consequences of this approach would be severe.

Homeless Assistance Grants – $185 million less than necessary to house 14,000 homeless people as under the Administration budget and last year’s House and Senate bills.

Tenant Based Rental Assistance – $487 million less than the Administration said will be necessary in FY 2007 to fund vouchers that were in use in 2006 – and in 2006, 130,000 fewer families were housed than in early 2004.

Project Based Rental Assistance – $639 million less than the Administration said will be necessary to keep all existing housing in operation.

Public Housing Operating – $350 million less than is necessary just to keep up with higher utility costs.

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