Pastor Statement at Subcommittee Markup of 2015 Transportation-HUD Appropriations Act
Thank you Mr. Chairman.
I want to thank you for listening to our concerns and for keeping an open dialogue as we have moved through the process.
The Chairman received a tough allocation. On paper, it looks like the allocation is nearly $1.2 billion higher than last year. Don’t be deceived.
Because of the sharp differences between OMB and CBO’s receipt estimates for the FHA program, this bill is actually $1.8 billionlower than the FY 2014 bill.
With that in mind, the Chairman did try to take care of the safety mission of the Department of Transportation and try to ensure that everyone housed in FY 2014 will be housed in FY 2015.
However, many other programs are frozen at last year’s level and others are cut even deeper. For example:
- FTA’s Capital Investment Grant program is cut by $252 million;
- Amtrak’s capital grants is cut by $200 million;
- Transit research is cut by $28 million or 65 percent;
- HUD’s HOME program is cut by $300 million, or 30 percent;
- Housing for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) is cut by $27 million; and
- HUD’s Lead Hazard Reduction and Healthy Homes program is cut by $40 million or 36 percent.
I also have concerns with some of the legislative riders that are included in this bill which could hamper our ability to get this bill enacted.
There are some bright spots. The House bill, for the first time, includes funding for the National Infrastructure Investment program (commonly known as TIGER). The Chairman also took good care of the programs of the Federal Aviation Administration and included a solid funding level for the Community Development Block Grant program.
I want to close with where I started. It has been a pleasure to work with the Chairman and to serve on this great committee. I look forward to seeing this bill through to completion. With that, I yield back. Thank you.