Brown: President’s Budget Hurts Communities, Families

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs – released the following statement in response to the Trump Administration’s full budget request to Congress for Fiscal Year 2019. The proposed budget has significant cuts to housing, which many working families rely on the most.

“This proposal doubles down on the bad ideas of last year’s budget and pushes costs on to states, local communities and low-income Americans,” said Brown. “This administration should advocate for real investments in our nation’s infrastructure, including housing, transportation, and community development programs.”

Impact of proposed Budget Cuts:

  • The White House budget proposal would cut HUD spending by about 14 percent from 2017 fiscal levels to $41.2 billion.
  • The Trump budget request of $41.2 billion total would amount to $6.8 billion (14 percent) cut from fiscal 2017 levels.
  • Instead of including funding to address our affordable housing and community development challenges in the President’s infrastructure proposal, the budget eliminates funds from existing infrastructure investments, like Community Development Block Grants, the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, and funds for public housing repairs and revitalization.
  • The budget proposes to eliminate allocations to the Housing Trust Fund, an affordable housing program for very low income households, and Capital Magnet Fund, which provides grants for affordable housing.
  • At the same time, the budget increases the cost of homeownership by arbitrarily increasing the fees (10 basis points through 2021 and 20 basis points through 2023) paid by homebuyers to the Government Sponsored Enterprises (GSE’s).  These fees are paid for the life of the loan on loans originated while the fee is in place.
  • Within the Federal Transit Administration, the budget proposes eliminating all future projects in the Capital Investment Grant program, which assists communities across the nation with building and expanding rail and bus networks.
  • The budget provides funding only for a small number of projects currently under construction, eventually eliminating the $2.4 billion now allocated annually to expand transit services.  Nearly 60 communities have already expended local funding to design projects and prepare applications, and more communities enter the program regularly. 
  • Instead of including funding to address the $90 billion backlog of needed repairs at our nation’s public transportation agencies such as fixing decayed tracks and replacing outdated vehicles, the Administration’s infrastructure proposal seeks to dramatically cut the amount of federal contribution to transit projects, from up to an 80 percent federal contribution to 20 percent, passing the cost on to our already strapped cities and communities through tax hikes and tolls.