“NO” on T-HUD Appropriations

Today, the House of Representatives will vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act (H.R.5972).  The act, commonly referred to as T-HUD, provides a net of $51.6 billion in appropriations for related programs in fiscal year 2013.

Although the act purports to align with the FY2013 House-passed budget resolution, many programs are inexplicably increased either above last year’s level or above the President’s request.  The act increases spending on numerous programs, including:

  • Essential Air Service program by 11% above last year’s level, and well above the level House Republicans proposed last February as part of their Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization;
  • Amtrak by 27% above last year’s level, thus undermining reforms proposed last year by House Republicans to boost the quality of service and reduce it’s operating costs;
  • Washington Metropolitan Transit Authority by 11% above the President’s request; and,
  • Community Development Block Grant by 13.5% – or $396 million – above last year’s levels and the President’s request.

Many of these increases occur within programs many conservatives have sought to eliminate, reduce or otherwise reform.  The Congressional Budget Office has identified many of the programs as deficit reduction options, as has The Heritage Foundation.  The Government Accountability Office has also identified some in their annual report on duplicative government programs.  The increases represent a missed opportunity for fiscal discipline.

Numerous amendments were offered to address these problems and many others.  Ultimately, bipartisan majorities rejected these amendments because lawmakers were either opposed to commonsense spending reductions and the elimination of proposed spending increases or for the frequently stated reason of maintaining the careful balance the committee has struck.  For a nation nearing $16 trillion in debt, neither justification is acceptable.

Heritage Action opposes H.R.5972 and will include it as a vote in our scorecard. 

Related Links:
Heritage Action Scorecard
Key Vote Alert: “YES” on the McClintock “EAS” Amendment
Heritage: President Obama Busts the Budget for Pie-in-the-Sky Amtrak Proposal
Heritage: The Biggest Pork Barrel Earmark in History
Heritage: Community Development Block Grants: Waste to Should Cut
The Hill: House Rejects Further Cuts to Transportation Spending Bill
The Hill: GOP split leaves more spending cuts on the table