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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5850 - Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011

July 28, 2010


STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY

(House Rules)

(Rep. Obey, D-Wisconsin)

The Administration strongly supports House passage of H.R. 5850, making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2011. A modern, high-performance transportation infrastructure is critical to the long-term growth of the American economy. Similarly, providing access to affordable rental and homeownership opportunities is central to the Administration's efforts to support American families. The Administration would like to take this opportunity to share additional views regarding the Committee's version of the bill.

Department of Transportation (DOT).

The Administration strongly supports infrastructure investments that will create skilled jobs for American workers in the near term and help build a foundation for long-term economic growth that will benefit communities and families for years to come. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the funding provided to High Speed Rail, DOT's Livability Initiative and the Federal Aviation Administration's Next Generation Air Transportation System. The Committee bill also provides support for transit safety and the Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to make certain that those resources best serve our common goal of making our systems as safe as possible.

National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund. The Administration encourages the Congress to provide funding to support the creation of a National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund (I-Fund) and is committed to working with the Congress to enact authorizing legislation. The I-Fund introduces a new and innovative approach to competitive financing for projects of regional and national significance and is designed to maximize partnership and co-investment from non-Federal partners.

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

Rental Assistance. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the President's request for Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, Project-Based Rental Assistance, and Public Housing programs. This funding is especially important in light of the current economic environment. The Administration urges the Congress to provide the requested $350 million for the Transforming Rental Assistance initiative to preserve public and assisted housing, enhance housing choice for residents, and streamline the administration of HUD's rental assistance programs. The Administration is committed to working with the Congress to enact authorizing legislation for this initiative.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and Catalytic Grants. While the Administration appreciates the Committee's support to fully fund the CDBG formula program at $4 billion, the Administration strongly urges the Congress to provide the requested $150 million for the new Catalytic Investment Competition Grants program. These grants will bring innovative economic development projects to scale and will target meaningful investments for distressed communities.

Choice Neighborhoods. The Administration urges the Congress to provide the requested $250 million for Choice Neighborhoods, which would support the Administration's broader, place-based effort to fight concentrated poverty and revitalize neighborhoods.

Homeless Assistance Grants. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for the Homeless Assistance Grants as HUD prepares to implement the HEARTH Act and the Federal Strategic Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness.

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Premiums. The Administration appreciates the Committee's support for broader FHA authority to set annual premiums on mortgage insurance. This authority will allow FHA to more appropriately price single family mortgage insurance and is an essential component of FHA's efforts to rebuild its capital reserves and improve risk management. The Administration urges the Congress to further these efforts by enacting full FHA reform, as included in H.R. 5072, the "FHA Reform Act of 2010".

Efficiencies and Cost-Saving Proposals. The Administration urges support of the President's initiatives to terminate or reduce programs that have outlived their usefulness, fund narrowly focused activities, or duplicate existing programs, including the elimination of the Brownfields Economic Development Initiative and the reduction of the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, as requested.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 5850 - Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2011 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/288475