Today, House appropriators will consider the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, one of the first to be considered under the Congressional Republican budget framework. With several appropriations bills, as well as funding allocations for the remaining bills, now available, it is becoming increasingly clear how House Republicans plan to budget at discretionary funding levels that are the lowest in a decade, adjusted for inflation. They would shortchange programs that support the middle class and weaken ladders of opportunity for those seeking to reach the middle class. While some Republicans have started talking the talk about issues like inequality and poverty, their budget shows they are not walking the walk.
Overall, according to the subcommittee, the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill reduces funding by about $9.7 billion, or 15 percent, below the President's Budget, which both reverses sequestration and proposes a long-term, fully-paid for surface transportation reauthorization proposal. The bill would reduce access to affordable housing, set back efforts to end homelessness, and cut critical transportation programs. While House Republicans have not yet released most of their other appropriations bills, allocations they’ve released for subcommittee bills make clear that the only way their budget framework works is to also underfund education, training, research and development, and other investments that promote growth and opportunity.
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Shaun Donovan is the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.