Chairman Price Statement to Rules Committee on Six-Bill Appropriations Minibus

2022-07-18 14:19

Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Chairman David E. Price (D-NC-04) today delivered the following remarks to the House Rules Committee in support of an appropriate rule for the House to consider H.R. 8294, a minibus of six fiscal year 2023 appropriations bills:

Thank you, Chairman McGovern, Ranking Member Cole, and other members of the Rules Committee for allowing me to testify today.

As Chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee, I’d like to first thank my partner, Ranking Member Mario Diaz-Balart, for his collaboration and cooperation, which have made this a better bill, reflecting many bipartisan priorities we can be proud to support.

Division A of the bill, the “T-HUD” section, represents our continued commitment to upgrading our aging transportation infrastructure, addressing our nation’s affordable housing and homelessness crises, bolstering our resiliency in the face of natural disasters and a changing climate, remedying inequities and disparities in our housing and transportation systems, and prioritizing safety—whether eliminating hazards in public housing or improving the certification of new aircraft. Overall, the bill includes $90.9 billion in discretionary funding, an increase of $9.85 billion over the FY 2022 enacted level.

The bill also provides $77.6 billion to fully fund programs that utilize the Highway Trust Fund as part of last year’s historic and bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

For housing, we continue to ensure housing stability for nearly 5 million people by fully renewing all Housing Choice Vouchers and meeting the renewal needs of public housing, homeless assistance grants, and several other initiatives. This is coupled with critical new investments, including more than 140,000 new tenant-based vouchers for low-income families and people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, over 5,600 new affordable housing units for seniors and persons with disabilities, and more than 6,700 new vouchers for veterans experiencing homelessness and youth aging out of foster care.

To help address our nation’s growing affordable housing crisis, spur community revitalization, and generate jobs and economic development, the bill provides an 8 percent increase to the HOME program, 11 percent increase for NeighborWorks programs, and a historic 29 percent increase for Choice Neighborhoods. It also provides, for the first time, a major investment in our nation’s manufactured housing stock, home to over 20 million people, by providing $500 million to preserve and revitalize this essential form of housing that has long been overlooked.

On the transportation side, the bill upholds the commitment to respond to transportation needs across all modes, including highways, transit, rail, aviation, bike and pedestrian projects, and ports. It invests in the safety and reliability of our passenger and freight rail systems, including a combined $1.2 billion for the CRISI and Federal-State Partnership for Intercity Passenger Rail grant programs, a signature priority for our subcommittee. The bill also provides robust funding for our transit infrastructure, including $3 billion for Capital Investment Grants, an increase of $764 million from fiscal year 2022, to create new transit routes nationwide and $646 million for Transit Infrastructure Grants to help transit agencies innovate and improve public transit to help people get to work, school, and access critical services.

The past few years have made clear the importance of continued targeted investments to address inequities, and this bill represents our dedication to furthering justice and equality on all fronts. We know that certain communities face persistent barriers that prevent access to opportunity, and it is often these same communities on the front lines of extreme weather events and other threats exacerbated by climate change. This bill invests over $2.6 billion in resources across programs to address pressing resilience needs and promote equity, working to ensure a brighter future for all.

In closing, this year’s T-HUD bill makes forward-looking investments in our housing and transportation infrastructure, all while bolstering safety and uplifting vulnerable populations.  It will benefit communities across America and lay a strong foundation for economic growth and resiliency.

Thank you, and I’m happy to answer any questions you may have.

117th Congress