|Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-TX), Gwen Moore (D-WI), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX) are circulating a congressional sign-on letter to their colleagues in the House, requesting an increase for HUD's McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants in fiscal year (FY) 2012. The deadline for representatives to join the letter is TOMORROW, November 10.
We need your help getting as many signatures as possible!
What You Can Do:
- Find out if your representative already signed the letter or if he/she signed onto a previous McKinney sign-on letter last May, which called for about $2.4 billion in FY 2012 (list of signatories here).
- If your representative already signed the letter, thank him/her! If not, call your representatives' offices TODAY. Ask to speak to the person who handles housing issues. (Office phone numbers can be found by dialing the congressional switchboard at 202-224-3121.)
- Ask the staff if their bosses will join the McKinney sign-on letter by Thursday. If they signed the letter last May, remind them that they supported an increase just a few months ago. If they agree to sign on, have the office contact Mindy Reinstein in Rep. Hasting's office at email@example.com to join.
- Tell us what you learn! Just email Kate Seif at firstname.lastname@example.org with the name of the office(s) you contacted and what their response was.
Finalizing FY 2012 HUD Funding
Congress is working to finalize the FY 2012 funding level for HUD programs, including McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Grants, in the coming days. The official House-Senate Conference Committee met last Thursday to formally begin the process of working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of the FY 2012 HUD funding bill and to negotiate a final version. While the final details are being worked out, we must convince Congress to provide additional resources to HUD's McKinney-Vento programs.
In addition to reaching out to your representatives about the sign-on letter, please contact both your representatives and senators THIS WEEK and ask them to work with their colleagues on the Conference Committee to provide an INCREASE in funding for HUD's McKinney-Vento programs. Sample talking points for your conversation are available here.
Negotiators on the Conference Committee hope to finalize the legislation, H.R. 2112, early next week, when members of the House return to Washington, DC from their Veterans Day recess. Congressional leaders hope to pass the bill next week and send it to the President for his signature by next Friday, November 18.
The current stopgap measure funding the government expires on November 18. H.R. 2112 is being referred to as a "minibus" because it would provide FY 2012 funding for the Departments of Transportation, HUD, Agriculture, Commerce, and Justice, and some related programs and agencies. Congress hopes to use H.R. 2112 to finalize the FY 2012 funding levels for these agencies and to provide stopgap funding beyond November 18, likely into December, for the remaining federal departments not included in the minibus.