Senate Republicans Vote for More Section 8, Housing Programs

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 and is filed under Blog, Issues

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Last week, we pointed out that every Republican on the Senate appropriations bill except for Ron Johnson voted for Harry Reid’s spending bills that continue to grow unconstitutional, wasteful, and harmful programs.  Here is some more information from CQ on one of those bills, the Transportation-HUD bill.

For housing programs, the bill would provide $19.4 billion for “tenant-based” Section 8 rental assistance, which allows a tenant to take the assistance from one residence to another. The figure would be a $482 million increase from last year and includes $75 million for 10,000 new vouchers for homeless veterans under the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program.

The bill also includes $9.8 billion for the “project-based” Section 8 program that provides aid to landlords of low-income buildings, $536 million above the 2012 enacted level. In addition, the measure calls for $3.1 billion for HUD’s Community Development Block Grants funding, $152 million more than in fiscal 2012.

The government should not be involved in housing to begin with.  When Republicans tell you that they want to balance the budget, but refuse to end government involvement in housing, they are being disingenuous.  There is no way we will ever balance the budget if we don’t eliminate entire departments and HUD is one of the lowest hanging fruits.  Yet, not only did they fail to cut one penny from the Obama-levels of housing spending, they agreed to a slight increase.

In addition, they agreed to fund the following programs:

  • $2 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund and $4.6 billion for the Public Housing Operating Fund.
  • $2.2 billion for homeless assistance grants.
  • $650 million for Native American housing block grants.
  • $1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnership program, which supports the creation and rehabilitation of low-income housing.
  • $135 million for housing counseling.
  • $50 million within HUD’s Community Development Fund for the Sustainable Communities Initiative to promote integrated housing and transportation planning.
  • $120 million for HUD’s Choice Neighborhoods Initiative to expand the HOPE VI program.

I can’t think of a single item on the list that I would have voted for, yet every Republican except for Johnson blithely supported them.  Let’s be clear: any Republican that votes for a spending bill that spends more money than post-2008 levels is not worth a bucket of spit.

We’ve got a lot of work to do in transforming the Republican Party into something other than a less enthusiastic supporter of big-government.