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August 1, 2013

Re:  Congressional T-HUD Debates Continue

Dear Mayor:

We wrote last Friday concerning action in Congress on the FY 2014 Transportation – Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) appropriations bill. (See our letter at www.njslom.org/letters/2013-0726-T-HUD.html) We had asked you to contact Senators Menendez and Chiesa in support of the Senate’s proposal and against any amendment that would reduce crucial funding.

Earlier this week, House Leadership determined that there was not enough support for the House T-HUD bill to pass, which included reduced transit and Amtrak funding, zero funding for TIGER and Bridge Repair grants, and less funding than the Senate bill for CDBG, Section 8 rental assistance and other federal housing support programs.  The combined opposition of Democrats and Republicans unhappy with the austere spending caps approved by the House Budget Committee, and the small cadre of Representatives that wanted even deeper spending cuts, formed a majority.  Rather than allow the House T-HUD bill to fail by recorded vote, the bill has been pulled from further consideration. 

Today, the Senate will resume consideration of amendments to the Senate T-HUD bill tomorrow.  Our message to the Senate follows.    
                        
Message to the U.S. Senate

  • Please support the Senate FY2014 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill and oppose any amendments that would slash funding from the Community Development Block Grant program and other HUD or DOT programs important to New Jersey.
  • Oppose any amendments that would enact new penalties against cities in financial distress that are pursuing lawful measures, including reorganization under federal bankruptcy laws, to restore fiscal stability.
  • The impact of your calls and letters will be amplified if you can mention specific projects or programs planned or underway in your hometown that depend on CDBG or other HUD-DOT funding.                                                         
  • The Congressional switchboard operator can connect you to any Senator by calling 202-224-3121 and you can find the public email for every Senator at this website: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

Municipal officials recognize that reductions in federal spending are unavoidable in the current budget environment, but the House FY14 T-HUD bill goes too far. Since 2010, Congress has cut CDBG funding by over $1 billion, significantly reducing opportunities to create jobs, to address vital infrastructure needs and to spark economic growth throughout our communities.

If you have any questions, please contact Jon Moran at 609-695-3481, ext. 121 or jmoran@njslom.com

Very truly yours,

William G. Dressel, Jr.
Executive Director

 

 

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