Earlier today the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies passed its fiscal year 2016 funding bill. In response, Smart Growth America’s President and CEO Geoff Anderson issued the following statement.
Today the House of Representatives will continue consideration of its Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill, which will set funding levels for nearly all federal housing and transportation programs in the coming year.
The House’s current version of the bill would slash funding for many of these programs, including grants and technical assistance programs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) and U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Specifically, the bill:
- Cuts funding for HUD’s HOME program from $900 million in FY15 to $767 million in FY16. HOME must be fully funded in addition to, not at the expense of, critically needed funding for the NHTF.
- Cuts funding for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods program from $90 million in FY15 to $20 million in FY16. Choice Neighborhoods supports struggling neighborhoods and aids in community revitalization.
- Eliminates HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience, which has helped communities rebuild their economies, create jobs and improve economic development.
- Cuts $200 million for new transit construction. This comes at a time when public transportation ridership is booming and cities of all sizes are looking to invest in new bus, rail transit, and bikeshare projects to help them stay economically competitive.
- Slashes funding for USDOT’s TIGER program by 80 percent from last year’s level down to just $100 million. Over the past six years this competitive grant program has proven to be incredibly popular and effective, and its previous funding level was already inadequate to fulfill the huge demand for this program across the country. The program has funded innovative projects in communities of all sizes in all 50 states — and in districts both red and blue.
- Cuts Amtrak’s budget by $250 million, just a few weeks after the tragic Amtrak derailment in Philadelphia and at a time when ridership is growing fast.
The bill does maintain funding levels for HUD’s Community Development Block Grant program at $3 billion.
Members of the House will consider this bill later today, so now is the time to voice your support for these important programs. Send a letter to your Representative today >>
These programs help Americans live in safe, affordable homes in convenient neighborhoods with transportation choices. That’s important for families and it’s crucial for our economy. Tell your Representative not to cut these important programs.
Yesterday, the Senate FY15 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee by a 29-1 vote. The bill proposes funding levels for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other related agencies for fiscal year 2015.
This comes on the heels of the House Appropriations Committee passing their version last month. Overall, the Senate bill would provide $54.4 billion in discretionary budget authority for THUD agencies, as opposed to the $52 billion from the House bill. Despite the funding differences between the two bills, the final funding decisions will likely be determined in an omnibus appropriations package later this year.
Yesterday, the House FY 2015 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill was considered in subcommittee where it was approved by a voice vote. The bill proposes funding levels for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Transportation (DOT) and other related agencies.
Overall, the bill allocates $52 billion in discretionary spending and represents cuts of $1.8 billion from current program funding levels to compensate for lower than expected Federal Housing Administration receipts. The breakdown, by agency, of proposed funding for relevant programs is as follows:
Today, committees in both the House and Senate are working on bills to fund the federal government for the rest of the fiscal year—including key programs at the Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Environmental Protection Agency. How much these programs receive in the coming year is currently under debate.
The bills will soon go to a vote, and so now is the time to speak out for these important programs.
Together we can help communities clean up brownfields, reuse already developed land, revitalize neighborhoods and expand transportation options.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities’ planning grants, brownfields assessment and clean up assistance, and the innovative TIGER program are all critical to this work. These programs get more out of public investment and help communities build in ways that will support local economies for decades to come—but Congress needs to hear from you.
On Tuesday the Congressional budget conference committee, chaired by Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI), reached a tentative agreement on the next two years’ federal operating budget. What does this mean for federal smart growth programs?
First, the big picture. The new deal sets top-line discretionary federal spending at $1.012 trillion for fiscal year (FY) 2014, $1.014 trillion for FY 2015 and provides $63 billion of sequester relief. Both the House and Senate still need to approve the budget before it becomes official: The House will vote on the budget agreement today and the Senate will likely take up a vote sometime next week. The measure is expected to pass both chambers.
The proposed agreement comes after Congress failed to reach a budget agreement in October, causing most of the federal government to shut down. The House and Senate eventually agreed on a short-term continuing resolution for the current fiscal year which is set to expire on January 15, 2014. If the proposed budget passes both chambers, Congress will have until January 15 to set funding levels for all federal programs.
The House Appropriations Committee, in meeting today. Image via C-SPAN.
The appropriations committees in both chambers of Congress passed bills this morning that will decide funding for transportation, housing and urban development programs in fiscal year 2014.
In the Senate, the committee’s proposal includes funding for many of the country’s most important community development programs. The Department of Transportation (DOT)’s TIGER grant program would receive $550 million to suppors a wide variety of transportation projects including bridges, public transit and railroads. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)’s Integrated Planning and Investment grants, part of the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, would be allocated $75 million for the coming year.
“HUD’s programs solve local problem with local people,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The Senate committee passed the bill quickly, just after 10 AM, with few remarks.
As Congress negotiates the federal budget for the coming fiscal year, where do community development programs stand?
As of today, subcommittees in both the House and Senate have come out with their proposals for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) funding for fiscal year 2014.
You might already know about the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities. It’s one of the most innovative neighborhood programs ever created by the federal government.
A new bill in Congress, however, would cut all funding for the Partnership’s flagship programs and end the initiative’s work.
Yesterday, a House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to eliminate all funding for key programs at the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), both part of the Partnership.
The proposed cuts would be disastrous for the communities across the country. Many are using the Partnership’s help to slowly rebuild their economies, create jobs and improve their development. The House’s proposed cuts would kick the chair out from under these communities.
Among the programs that would be affected is HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience and DOT’s popular TIGER program. President Obama recommended strong funding for these programs, but the House bill would eliminate them completely.
The Senate will soon consider this same bill and they need to hear that these programs are important. Congress is facing many tough fiscal decisions this year. It’s up to us to make sure these programs continue.
Community development projects are a worthwhile investment of taxpayer dollars, and yield economic returns for businesses, communities and taxpayers alike. Tell Congress to fund these programs today.
Earlier today the House Appropriations Subcommittee introduced the fiscal year 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill. The bill slashes funding to programs at both the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by $7.7 billion compared to their 2013 spending levels. At DOT, the budget would eliminate funding for the TIGER grant program and rescind $237 million in unobligated TIGER funding from 2013. The bill would also eliminate funding for high-speed rail and cut Amtrak’s subsidy by a third.
At HUD the bill would cut overall funding by 35% compared to FY 2013, including a 50% cut to Community Development Block Grants and a 30% cut to the HOME Investment Partnership Program. The bill would also zero out funding for HUD’s Office of Economic Resilience, created just this year. President Obama’s FY 2014 budget proposed $75 million in funding for that office.
In response to the proposed bill, Geoff Anderson, President and CEO of Smart Growth America, issued the following statement.