Democratic House Appropriators Issue Sequestration Report

Chair Rogers Calls THUD
Passage Bleak at Best

Democratic House Appropriators Issue Sequestration ReportOn August 6, House Committee on Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), issued a report entitled Impacts of Sequester: Irresponsible Republican Budget Is a Disaster for Job Creation, Government Services, and Economic Investment.

The report spells out how the House appropriations bills for FY14 would decrease funding for non-defense discretionary programs by $47.5 billion to allow for defense programs to exceed their spending caps.

In addition to moving non-defense program funding to defense programs, which resulted in improbably low appropriations bills such as the one that funds HUD programs, the $47.5 billion breach also broke the major promise of sequestration that defense and non-defense programs would be impacted equally.

According to the report, these funding decisions resulted in a Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) FY14 spending bill that threatens housing and community development programs. The House THUD bill, H.R. 2610, would damage the Section 8 program by “underfunding or eliminating entirely administrative fee funding, which will result in few resources for available vouchers.” The Healthy Homes and Lead Hazard Control Grants would be “cut 58% to $50 million, the second lowest level in the program’s history.” The HOME program would be cut 30%, the “lowest level since the program began in 1992.” And, the bill would “cut [the Community Development Block Grant program] in half to $1.6 billion, the lowest level since the program began in 1976.”

Just before the House was expected to vote on the THUD bill on July 31, House Committee on Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers (R-KY) pulled the bill from consideration, citing insufficient votes to pass the bill because of its low funding levels.

“In order to abide by sequestration budget levels, this bill cut $4.4 billion below the current, post-sequestration total to a level below what was approved for these programs in 2006 – over seven years ago,” said Mr. Rogers in a press statement. He said that chances of House passage of the bill in September are “bleak at best.”

The new fiscal year begins on October 1 and a Continuing Resolution is expected to keep federal programs funded absent FY14 appropriations bills.

Click here for the House Democratic appropriators’ Impacts of Sequester.

Click here for Chair Rogers’ press statement on the THUD bill.