House Passes THUD Bill

Senate Action Imminent
NJ House Members vote 6-5 in Favor

House Passes THUD BillThe House of Representatives passed its FY15 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations bill on June 10, approving three harmful amendments to an already problematic bill.

The House passed their version of the FY15 THUD bill on June 10, 2014 with a vote of 229 to 192. NJ’s members of Congress voted 6-5 on a party line vote in favor of the THUD budget.

Senate consideration of its THUD appropriations bill is expected as early as the week of June 16, 2014. It is not known yet whether amendments will be allowed. It also is likely that more than one appropriations bill will be considered as a package.

The House bill, which was voted out of the House Committee on Appropriations on May 21, 2014 fails to fully fund the Housing Choice Voucher program, flat funds homeless assistance grants, and cuts the HOME program by 30%.

On June 9, 2014, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) on the House bill, declaring that it “strongly opposes House passage of H.R. 4745.” The SAP states, “The bill… provides insufficient support for critical housing programs for low income Americans and the homeless.”

Several amendments were accepted during House debate of H.R. 4757. The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) urges advocates to work with their House and Senate offices to remove these amendments during conference committee negotiations between the House bill and its Senate counterpart. The amendments that passed and should be removed include:

  • Representative Paul Gosar’s (R-AZ) amendment to prohibit HUD from using any funds to implement, enforce, or administer its proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule passed by a vote of 219 to 207, with no Democrats joining the majority and nine Republicans joining the minority.
  • An amendment passed that would restrict the use of vouchers by placing a hard cap on their value. Offered by Representative Aaron Schock (R-IL), the amendment would prohibit “exception payment standards” above 120% of the Fair Market Rent (FMR).
  • Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) offered an amendment that would prohibit HUD from using any of its funding to implement or administer the National Housing Trust Fund.

Click here for the White House’s SAP on the House bill.

Click here for the NLIHC’s budget chart.

Click here for more details on the amendments from NLIHC.