In the face of White House opposition, the House on Monday kicked off floor action on its fiscal 2015 spending bill for transportation and housing programs, with Republican leaders anticipating its passage as early as Tuesday.
The legislation includes funding for the departments of Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, along with other related agencies, and overall it would provide $52 billion in discretionary spending.
Last year, the so-called THUD appropriations bill for fiscal 2014 was dramatically pulled from the floor before a vote when it became clear support had collapsed among Republicans as well as Democrats, partly because of steep cuts proposed in the popular Community Development Block Grant program at HUD.
But no such major GOP fissures are anticipated to create last-second hiccups this year. The measure would be the fourth appropriations bill passed by the House out of 12 due by the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year.
Still, against the backdrop of this Republican confidence, the White House Office of Management and Budget on Monday issued a statement underscoring the administration’s strong opposition to the House’s THUD bill.
The statement said the bill “fails to make needed investments in our Nation’s infrastructure, provides insufficient support for critical housing programs for low-income Americans and the homeless, and includes objectionable language provisions.”
Among the administration’s objections are proposed cuts to passenger rail programs, Homeless Assistance Grants, and other public housing programs and grants. The administration said it also opposed provisions altering the permissible size and weight of trucks operating over federal highways in some states.