White House Slams Cuts Proposed in House Transportation-HUD Spending Bill

But Republican leaders expect easy passage this week.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during an East Room event at the White House June 9, 2014 in Washington, DC. President Obama signed a presidential memorandum on 'reducing the burden of student loan debt.'
National Journal
Billy House
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Billy House
June 9, 2014, 5:30 p.m.

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.

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