Senate Passes Unemployment Insurance Extension
Yesterday, Monday, April 7, the Senate passed an extension of unemployment insurance benefits. It is unlikely that the legislation will pass in the House without the addition of job-creating provisions. Although House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has repeatedly voiced his opposition to the extension, several House Republicans are now pushing for it. Last Thursday, representatives Peter King (R-NY) and Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ) sent a letter urging House Republican leaders to support the Senate proposal or a similar measure. Some Republicans hope to pass the Senate measure after attaching various provisions, such as proposals to cut taxes, curb regulations and undo mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Budget Committee Marks Up House Budget Resolution
Last Wednesday, April 2, the House Budget Committee voted on the House fiscal year (FY) 2015 budget resolution, "The Path to Prosperity," authored by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI). The budget resolution would cut numerous programs that serve the most vulnerable Americans, and would put in place reforms of some housing assistance programs, such as expanding the Moving to Work program to more public housing agencies.
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) sent a letter to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) yesterday, requesting that CBO produce a report analyzing the impact Rep. Ryan's plan would have on poverty. The letter specifically warns of cuts to rental assistance, and asks the CBO to "look carefully at what Chairman Ryan's budget resolution would do for those Americans who face hunger and homelessness, especially children, our veterans, and the elderly."
Read the letter
Appropriations Subcommittees Hold Hearings on Budget Proposal
Last Wednesday, April 2, the House and Senate Transportation, Housing, Urban Development and Related Agencies (T-HUD) subcommittees held hearings on the proposed FY 2015 funding for programs under their jurisdictions. During the hearing, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan outlined the key goals of the proposed FY 2015 HUD budget and responded to subcommittee members' questions about HUD's proposal to shift funding for all Project-Based Rental Assistance (PBRA) renewals to a calendar year. At both hearings, members remarked positively on HUD's progress on homelessness.
Secretary Shaun Donovan's Senate hearing testimony
Secretary Shaun Donovan's House hearing testimony
Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on Economic Inequality
Last Tuesday, April 1, the Senate Budget Committee held a hearing titled "Opportunity, Mobility and Inequality in Today's Economy." Senate Budget Committee Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-AL) to open the hearing, noting that affordable housing programs were among her list of priorities. During the hearing, expert economists testified about the economic causes and effects of inequality. One area of disagreement was around whether raising the minimum wage would reduce income inequality or increase it to by stifling job growth.
Hearing testimony, webcast
Congress to Depart for Recess
The House will depart for their spring recess once session adjourns this Thursday, April 10; the Senate will depart this Friday, April 11. Both chambers will return to session on Monday, April 28.
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