Please help APA support the highest possible funding level for the FY 2018 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) spending bill by signing on to a letter to appropriators today.
The THUD bill funds programs that are critical to planners and is at risk of being cut in FY 2018. The deadline to join the letter is Monday, March 3.
Each year after the President’s budget proposal is released, Congress begins its budget and appropriations process. This process starts with the House and the Senate each drafting their own budget resolution. Those two resolutions are then merged into a single bill — a concurrent budget resolution. The concurrent budget resolution sets the overall amount of money that will be spent in the federal budget in the upcoming fiscal year, known in Washington as a “302(a).”
This overall spending level guides appropriators, who are responsible for setting spending levels for specific programs within the federal government.
In 2011, the Budget Control Act set arbitrary, restrictive caps on spending for 10 fiscal years. Congress has approved a budget deal for the past four years allowing for higher spending, but the most recent budget deal expires in FY 2017 and there is no such deal in place for the upcoming fiscal year. It is likely that spending will be constrained greatly in FY 2018, making this letter even more important.
Once a 302(a) topline spending level has been finalized, appropriators divide that funding between the 12 appropriations bills that make up the federal budget, each known as a 302(b). The THUD is the bill responsible for setting spending levels for all HUD programs. A low 302(b) level for THUD translates into deep cuts to programs like TIGER, Choice Neighborhoods, the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and HOME Investment Partnerships.
For example, in FY 2014, the THUD 302(b) was so low that appropriators were forced to cut CDBG by nearly 50 percent to avoid evicting families from their homes.
In order to secure the highest possible level of funding for HUD programs, APA has joined together with a large and diverse group of stakeholders across the country who are impacted by the THUD bill. This group has drafted a sign-on letter that reminds appropriators of the importance of programs funded by THUD and urges them to appropriate the highest possible funding level for THUD in FY 2018.
This is the sixth year such a letter has been drafted. Last year, more than 2,000 organizations signed the letter. In 2013, Senate Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-Maine) brought a copy with her to the Senate floor to argue for her bill.
Please sign your organization on to the letter today and distribute it widely within your networks.
Top image: Row houses in Baltimore. Photo by Flickr user Dorret (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).
About the Author
Tess Hembree is policy manager at Advocacy Associates.