The federal government should not have a Department of Housing and Urban Development. The GOP’s budget, which boasts the deepest cuts ever made in American history will continue to spend record amounts on this decrepit Department, far beyond what was spent under Obama or even before COVID.
Republicans will not find a lower-hanging apple if they can’t cut HUD in a significant way. A local function, housing should not be moved beyond the state level of government. Housing programs are part of HUD and they’re designed to transform communities and empower left-wing third-party organizations to push for policies that perpetuate crime, social unrest, and poverty in America’s inner cities. HUD is the government’s ultimate thief.
The House Appropriations Committee released its draft of the fiscal year 2024 Transportation/HUD Appropriations Bill earlier this week. This bill funds both HUD and the Department of Transportation. The Transportation portion of the bill looks pretty good since it reduces $7.2 billion in FY 2023 from the enacted level and ends some green energy programs that were part of the Infrastructure Bill signed by Biden. The bill also prevents the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) from implementing a national highway system greenhouse gas performance standard. The HUD part is problematic.
The draft would provide HUD with $68.2 Billion in discretionary net funding, effectively preserving a record-high baseline of spending for a department that shouldn’t even exist. In FY 2017, Obama’s last year in office, HUD’s spending was only $38.8 Billion. In FY 2020 (pre-COVID), it was $ 49 billion, or $ 57.7 billion in today’s money.
It is not fair to preserve the huge post-COVID expenditures so that radical leftist groups can use them as a means of transforming America. Republicans, in accordance with the McCarthy debt ceiling agreement, use dishonest “clawbacks”, of massive IRS funding that would never be spent, to offset the huge budget authority granted to HUD.
The draft provides $31.1 billion for Section 8 (also known as “tenant rent vouchers”) and $15.8 billion in subsidies to specific units, which is a record. This is a 6% rise from last year’s record-breaking levels. Section 8 is used to promote social transformation, increase crime, reduce property values, and implement the left’s gerrymandering in the suburbs.
The committee Republicans, in defending the retention of biblical amounts of Section 8 spending cited inflation of rents and the diminished income coming into the Federal Housing Administration through mortgage insurance. HUD’s involvement with housing in the first place is what created the housing boom, and the debt (fueled by this spending) is what has caused the interest rates to increase and dampened the revenues. Section 8 is so heavily funded that many landlords, with the help of local government incentives and Section 8 tenants, find it more profitable than renting on the open market. This not only encourages crime but also increases rental rates. As with government subsidies for student loans and health care, if you spend unimaginable amounts of money on a service, providers will continue to charge higher prices.
The draft maintains funding for the Community Development Block Grant Program at $3.3 billion, which is the level this year. The program is designed to give money for “community” development to places without any need for it. If federal funding is needed to support local government’s functions, then the funds should be given to the states. As it stands, the federal government is using the CDBG program to push the woke agenda in many ways.
I also don’t think there are any policy riders to the bill that would defund social engineering offices such as Mortgage Counseling. This program provides grants to UnidosUS which encourages illegal immigration and tries to intimidate local governments for not supplying the desired level of low-income housing.
The bill maintains the same amount of funding for the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Program, which is also equivalent to a Democrat Party contribution. The draft retains $3.3 billion to fund the Continuum of Care Program. This program funds radical gender ideologies and transgender care under the guise of protecting victims of sexual abuse.
The bottom line, Republicans will only compromise down from their starting position in the chamber that they control. It is a breach of the election promise to begin negotiations on this type of bill. The Freedom Caucus wrote a letter to McCarthy, promising to vote against bills that don’t even achieve the modest reduction to FY 2022 without the gimmick using rescissions of unspent money. McCarthy is also asked to reject all funding bills until the House has passed each appropriations bill. Omnibuses and supplemental Ukraine bills are also ruled out.
AND…the House Freedom Caucus is warning McCarthy that they will vote against appropriations measures if they don’t meet their expectations, per letter I obtained.
They expect FY22 levels w/o “use of reallocated rescissions to increase discretionary spending above that top line” pic.twitter.com/dowOal362Q
— Olivia Beavers (@Olivia_Beavers) July 7, 2023
Debt levels are out of control despite what the media may claim. We urgently need to reduce the debt, as well as the militarized government that it funds. The GOP-controlled House is facing a moment of truth.