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To contact your legislator, call the Congressional switchboard at 877-210-5351.

Summary: At the end of October, President Obama and Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan budget agreement to lift the severe “sequestration” spending caps first enacted as part of the Budget Control Act of 2011. With an overall budget in place, Congress is now facing a December 11 deadline to pass a year-end spending bill that decides how those additional budget dollars will be spent among the various federal programs and agencies. Earlier this year, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees passed their respective Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (T-HUD) for FY2016 that propose drastic cuts for some key housing programs. Your lawmakers now have the opportunity to enact better funding for a variety of important housing priorities, including affordable housing, housing counseling and fair housing enforcement. In addition, Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL), Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, and others want to attach a long list of “policy riders” to the year-end spending bill for FY2016. Those riders would rollback provisions in the Dodd-Frank Act, undermine the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and fair housing enforcement, and enact provisions related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that place the Affordable Housing Goals and access to mortgage credit for creditworthy borrowers in traditionally underserved markets at risk.

WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Contact your Senators and Representative and ask them to:

ENSURE KEY HOUSING PROGRAMS ARE FUNDED: Among other programs, ask them to:

 

PASS A CLEAN FY 2016 OMNIBUS APPROPRIATIONS BILL. Tell your Senators and Representatives to:

It's up to us to ensure the integrity of our financial system and fair housing programs! To contact your legislator, call the Congressional switchboard at 877-210-5351.

SUMMARY: Tomorrow, June 9, the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on “rider” amendments to the Transportation-HUD (“T-HUD”) annual appropriations bill that would limit federal funding for fair housing enforcement. Last week largely along party line votes, the House already passed hostile amendments to defund fair housing programs key to NCRC members (see "Votes Last Week" below for a description). Democrats in the U.S. Senate, however, plan to block all House appropriations bills in an effort to reverse automatic, across-the-board cuts (‘sequestration”) first implemented in 2013. President Obama has also threatened to veto House appropriation bills that, among other things, cut funding to critical housing programs.

NCRC/MEMBER ACTION: Call the U.S. Capitol at 202-225-3121 and ask to be connected to your Representative. Urge your Rep. to:

VOTES LAST WEEK:

The House has already passed appropriations amendments to defund programs critical to NCRC Members:

  • HUD’s Fair Housing Initiatives Program (FHIP): The House passed an amendment by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) to prohibit funding for FHIP’s Private Enforcement Initiative (PEI). The amendment was added to the T-HUD appropriations bill and passed on a largely party-line basis on June 4 by a vote of 224-198 (Republicans: 224-16; Democrats: 0-182).

o   By voice vote, the House also passed an amendment that switches $28 million in funds from private enforcement to another part of the FHIP that funds state and local government agencies (e.g. Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP)). According to HUD, that part of FHIP hasn’t been funded for years because FHAP funds that have been appropriated are more than adequate.

  • HUD’s Disparate Impact Rule: The House also passed an amendment by Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ) that would block funding for the U.S. Dept. of Justice to enforce HUD’s disparate impact rule. The rule formalizedthe application of the doctrine that fair housing liability under the Fair Housing Act extends to housing practices that may appear neutral on their face but have discriminatory effects. The amendment was added to the Commerce-Justice-Science appropriations bill and passed largely along party-lines on June 3 by a vote of 232-196 (Republicans: 232-11; Democrats: 0-185).

The following charts provide a state-by-state breakdown of how the Government Sponsored Enterprises' affordable housing goals benefit the entire country. The charts are available for each state as well as in an aggregated document.