Senate Passes 2001 Housing Appropriations

By Whitman, Cameron | Nation's Cities Weekly, September 25, 2000 | Go to article overview

Senate Passes 2001 Housing Appropriations


Whitman, Cameron, Nation's Cities Weekly


As the 106th Congress moves toward adjournment in early October, due to the president's vetoes of the marriage tax repeal and the estate tax phase out, the Republican leadership has now shifted its focus from tax cuts to debt reduction. The leadership hopes that this will pacify the fiscally conservative Republicans who consistently oppose the increased spending being requested by President Clinton.

The new Republican debt reduction plan (H.R. 5173), unveiled last week, would lock away $42 billion of the 2001 "on budget" surplus and dedicate it to paying down the debt. Republicans have agreed that 90 percent of the anticipated surplus will go to debt reduction and the remaining 10 percent would be divided between tax cuts and new spending. The Republican leadership has committed to inserting debt reduction language in all future appropriations bills. However, if the economy falters and the $42 billion surplus does not materialize, this could create major complications next year.

The President's priorities in these end of session negotiations with the Republican leaders include: his requested 2100 funding levels, raising the minimum wage by $1.00 over two years, passing a "patients' bill of rights", and passing legislation that would help elderly Medicare recipients with the cost of prescription drugs.

The Republicans are divided over what they would accept in a "patients' bill of rights", plan to pass a stop gap prescription drug plan, and want a $76 billion tax cut (over ten years) for business to offset the cost of passage of a minimum wage increase. The Democrats have said they would accept a tax cut over ten years of no more than $20 to $30 billion for business.

With only three weeks left in the session, the Republican leadership's strategy for passage of 2001 appropriations legislation is to combine two bills at a time and then move them together through Congress. Last week a conference committee narrowly passed two appropriations bills together that would fund the Legislative Branch and the District of Columbia. In the Senate, GOP leaders have tentatively decided to merge the Transportation Department's 2001 funding bill with the VA/HUD and Independent Agencies' funding bill passed last week.

2001 HUD Funding (See Chart)

HUD FY 2001 Budget Chart for Selected Programs Dollars in Millions

HUD Program                         FY 2000     FY 2001
(set-asides indented)               Actual    President's
Approved

Housing Certificate Fund            11,376      14,128
  Contract Renewals                 10,640      13,010
  New Section 8 Vouchers               346         690
  Voucher Success Fund                  --          50
  Shelter Plus Care Renewals            --          37
  Housing Production Incentives         --           8
Public Housing Capital Fund          2,900       2,955
HOPE IV                                575         625
Public Housing Operating Fund        3,138       3,192
Drug Elimination Grants                310         345
Indian Housing Block Grants            620         650
Elderly Housing (Section 202)          710         779
Disabled Housing (Section 811)         201         210
HOME Investment Partnership
  Program                            1,600       1,650
Community Development Block
  Grants                             4,800       4,900
  Economic Development Initiative      256         100
Indian Housing Loan Guarantee            6           6
Homeless Assistance Grants           1,020       1,200
Housing for Persons with AIDS          232         260
Rural Housing and Economic
  Development                           25          27
Brownfields Redevelopment               25          50
America's Private Investment
Program (APIC)                          20          37
Fair Housing Assistance
  Program                               20          21
Fair Housing Initiative
  Program                               24          29
Lead-Based Paint Hazard
  Reduction                             80         120
Emergency Food and Sheller
  Program (FEMA)                       110         140

HUD Program                          House     Senate
(set-asides indented)               Approved
Approved                            request

Housing Certificate Fund             13,275     13,200
  Contract Renewals                  13,275     13,200
  New Section 8 Vouchers                  0          0
  Voucher Success Fund                    0         60
  Shelter Plus Care Renewals             37        105
  Housing Production Incentives           0    [1,000]
Public Housing Capital Fund           2,800      2,950
HOPE IV                                 565        575
Public Housing Operating Fund         3,139      3,192
Drug Elimination Grants                 300        310
Indian Housing Block Grants             620        650
Elderly Housing (Section 202)           710        783
Disabled Housing (Section 811)          201        213
HOME Investment Partnership
  Program                             1,585      1,600
Community Development Block
  Grants                              4,505      4,800
  Economic Development Initiative        10        130
Indian Housing Loan Guarantee             6          6
Homeless Assistance Grants            1,020      1,020
Housing for Persons with AIDS           250        232
Rural Housing and Economic
  Development                            20         27
Brownfields Redevelopment                20         27
America's Private Investment
Program (APIC)                            0          0
Fair Housing Assistance
  Program                                22         22
Fair Housing Initiative
  Program                                22         22
Lead-Based Paint Hazard
  Reduction                              80        100
Emergency Food and Sheller
  Program (FEMA)                        110        110

The VA/HUD appropriations bill was marked up last week in the Senate subcommittee and full committee. …

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