Chairwoman Lowey Floor Statement on H.R. 267, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill

January 10, 2019
Press Release

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey delivered the following remarks in support of H.R. 267, the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies bill. The legislation is a bipartisan bill to reopen federal agencies and ensure Americans living in HUD-supported housing do not face eviction.

More than 800,000 federal employees are going without pay, many while they are still working, and the American people are being denied vital services, all because of President Trump’s demands for a wasteful border wall.

The bill before us today would reopen the Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and other critical agencies like the National Transportation Safety Board and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness.

It is outrageous that safety-critical personnel who are ensuring our trains operate and air traffic runs smoothly cannot count on a paycheck at the end of this month. They, and the thousands of furloughed federal employees, cannot afford this kind of financial uncertainty  and missed paychecks.

The Trump shutdown has also had dangerous housing implications for many hardworking families. For example, HUD’s Project-Based Section 8 Housing Assistance Program, which covers tens of thousands of low income renters is in trouble. Payments have been made for tenants this month, but due to staff furloughs, HUD contracts with landlords that expired since the shutdown began have not been renewed. This could lead to evictions of senior citizens and the disabled, displacing the most vulnerable among us.

House Democrats want to open the government, but the President and the Senate Republicans continue to obstruct instead of working with us to get the people’s business done.

The solution to this crisis is simple: pass the bills where we can agree, and extend funding for Homeland Security for a month to allow time for negotiation on border security and immigration policy.

I hope that my colleagues across the Capitol come to their senses and stop this ridiculous Trump Shutdown.

116th Congress