Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, the chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the introduction of a continuing resolution in the House of Representatives to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011.|Press release from Congressman Tom Latham (Iowa’s 4th Congressional District)
Washington, Feb 11 – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham, the chairman of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the introduction of a continuing resolution in the House of Representatives to fund the federal government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011:
“This continuing resolution demonstrates a drastic change in the way Congress works and the work Congress does. It reflects the will of millions of Americans, who expect Congress to continue making the tough decisions that will put our country back on the path toward long-term economic recovery. The significant spending reductions contained in the CR lay a solid foundation upon which we can rebuild an economy that allows the private sector to thrive and innovate. I’m fully committed to restoring our country’s fiscal health and giving Iowa families and small businesses the certainty they need to create jobs and generate economic growth.”
“Together with my colleagues on the House Appropriations Committee, we’ve put together a plan to weed out unnecessary, wasteful and excessive spending across the federal budget. This process has produced legislation that contains the largest series of spending reductions in the history of Congress, returning spending levels to their pre-stimulus and pre-bailout non-security funding levels and cutting $100 billion from the White House’s budget request, as was outlined in the Republican Pledge to America last year.”
“Cutting the budget in a meaningful and responsible way is not easy, and every congressional district in the country will feel the impact. Some of these reductions will not be popular or politically expedient. But they are necessary and they are long overdue. For too long, the combination of inertia and political convenience has kept leaders in Congress from pursuing an agenda that upholds fiscal responsibility. But, as we saw when the House of Representatives voted last month to cut its own operating budgets by 5 percent, that era is coming to an end. As we continue to move forward, I refuse to shy away from the difficult decisions that must be made to put America back on the path toward job growth and prosperity.”
The CR’s section governing transportation, housing and urban development contains cuts totaling $15.5 billion, or 23 percent, from last year’s spending level and a $16.3 billion, or 24 percent, reduction from the White House’s fiscal year 2011 request. The transportation and housing section, which Congressman Latham oversaw as subcommittee chairman, contains a total of $52.4 billion.
Over the last several years, programs within THUD experienced tremendous growth ñ an approximate 38 percent increase since 2008 ñ primarily in grant programs and new Obama Administration initiatives such as high-speed rail and the National Infrastructure Investments Program. These programs receive significant reductions under the CR.
The CR includes reductions in transportation programs and activities but maintains essential funding for highways, transit and airport improvements. In addition, the CR cuts spending by prioritizing programs and trimming administrative costs in Housing and Urban Development programs, ensuring that no individuals or families in public housing, homeless shelters or other housing programs will be displaced.
“While putting together the continuing resolution, I carefully weighed the costs and benefits of individual programs in the transportation and housing sectors,” Congressman Latham said. “The continuing resolution slashes spending but maintains the funds necessary to meet priorities such as renewing every housing voucher and contract and keeping up with the country’s transportation infrastructure needs.”