The U.S. House of Representatives Appropriations Committee last week released details of its fiscal year 2024 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which aims to reduce the budget of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) by nearly a third compared with FY 2023 enacted levels.

“The Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill provides a discretionary total of $90.243 billion, which is $8.633 billion (8.7%) below the President’s Budget Request,” the committee said in an announcement.

The subcommittee’s proposed spending level in total is actually just under $3 billion higher than the FY 2023 allocation, but “plummeting housing receipts” have required $7.6 billion in new funding, the announcement said.

“$3.6 billion is required to unravel the emergency spending Democrats used to pay for FY23 housing inflation, and another $1.8 billion is required to ensure eligible recipients of housing assistance do not lose their assistance due to inflation,” the announcement explained.

The committee also specified that addressing identified shortfalls and “fund[ing] Republican priorities” required the elimination and/or cutting of several existing programs.

“The Subcommittee’s total allocation—the real cost to the taxpayer—is $65.208 billion, with $25.035 billion offset through preventing the Democrats’ wasteful spending on IRS enforcement,” the committee said, referencing a recent influx of funding the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) received after the passage of last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, which was partially rescinded by the recent deal between Congress and the White House to raise the nation’s debt limit.

Ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), blasted the proposals made by Republican committee leaders in a statement during the markup hearing that was later released by House Democrats.

“[T]he biggest issue touching every community is the lack of affordable housing,” she said. “There is a shortage of 7.3 million affordable homes available nationwide. Ensuring affordable and adequate housing is available in the places Americans live and work – ensuring there are roofs over the heads of children and families – should not be controversial. Yet this bill fails to meet the housing needs of a growing and aging population.”

DeLauro also said the bill would “tie HUD’s hands” from using funds to fulfill the requirements of the Fair Housing Act, which would “the green light to allow grantees to use taxpayer dollars to discriminate,” she said.

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