Congress Continues FY 2012 Appropriations
On November 1, the Senate passed H.R. 2112, which provided fiscal year (FY) 2012 funding for the Departments of HUD, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Justice, and related agencies. Following passage on Thursday, November 3, the official House-Senate Conference Committee, which is comprised of members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committee, met to formally begin the process of working out the differences between the House and Senate versions of these appropriations bills and to negotiate a final version.
The Conference Committee is expected to finalize the legislation, H.R. 2112, as soon as early next week, for passage by November 18, when the current stopgap funding measure expires. H.R. 2112 is being referred to as a "minibus" as it combines funding legislation for the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and other related agencies in addition to the Departments of HUD and Transportation. It is expected that Congress will to use this minibus to finalize the FY 2012 funding levels for each of these agencies and to provide stopgap funding into December for the rest of the federal government.
House Introduces Homes for Heroes Act
Last Tuesday, November 1, Representative Al Green (TX) introduced the Homes for Heroes Act of 2011 (H.R. 3298) in the House. The bill establishes a Special Assistant for Veterans Affairs within HUD and mandates submission of a veterans supplement to the Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress (AHAR). The bill has been referred to the House Committee on Financial Services where it awaits action.