Cole Remarks At FY24 Budget Hearing For The Department of Housing and Urban Development (As Prepared)

Apr 18, 2023

Thank you for appearing today, Madam Secretary. I am looking forward to this discussion, and especially looking forward to hearing from a distinguished and well-respected former colleague. I am very glad that HUD has a Secretary who understands what we do here in the House, and we thank you for your hard work and service to the American people.

I also want to welcome my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to this budget hearing. I know we’re all excited to hear from you and start the process of getting to a bipartisan bill that responsibly funds the government.

We all recognize the importance of having a timely full-year appropriations bill, for HUD and the government as a whole. We know the consequences of not responsibly governing year to year, when we accept continuing resolutions, when we waste time and effort and accept the priorities of prior Congresses, rather than put in the hard work to define our own. We on the appropriations committee have a duty to allocate resources to the programs that work, and negotiate our way to a consensus at the end of the day, through regular order, to support the American people.

That process starts right now, as we hear testimony from the Secretary about the President’s budget request. We need to come together to ensure that communities receive the support they need, while also making sure we are not contributing to surging prices and out-of-control deficits through irresponsible fiscal policies.

This is where you can help us out, Madam Secretary. We understand that so many different communities receive support from HUD, including tribal and rural communities across the U.S. HUD’s programs affect every district, from providing rental assistance, to helping first-time homebuyers get a mortgage, to keeping the secondary mortgage market running smoothly. HUD programs keep people safe from hazards like lead-paint in their homes and other unsafe living conditions, and allow elderly Americans to live with dignity in housing that meets their needs.

HUD’s programs also help fulfill the federal government’s treaty and trust responsibilities to Tribal communities. HUD’s Indian Housing Block Grants are key to providing safe, decent, and affordable housing to Native American families. Deciding how to best allocate funding to these important programs is our job here.

HUD’s fiscal year 2024 discretionary budget request is $73.3 billion, excluding any receipts. When we add in the fact that receipts for the Federal Housing Administration and Ginnie Mae’s credit programs are projected to be 47 percent lower than last year, we get to a 17 percent requested increase over last year’s non-emergency appropriations. The budget also requests $60 billion in mandatory housing programs over the next ten years, removing these programs from appropriations oversight.

While we may start from different places, I am confident that we can find common ground and responsibly fund programs that provide housing opportunities for the American people. Your testimony today will enlighten us on your biggest priorities for the Department. I look forward to learning from you about HUD’s successes and your plans for its future, and about how we can help the Department better serve all Americans as we put together the THUD Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations bill.

With that, I recognize the Ranking Member of this Subcommittee, the gentleman from Illinois, Mr. Quigley, for his opening statement.