September 13, 2013

Attempts by House Republicans to cut domestic programs below this year’s already-low post-sequestration spending levels ran into trouble in late July when the House Republican leadership pulled legislation from the House floor (H.R. 2610) that would have funded the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). According to reports, the bill was pulled because it lacked sufficient support to pass.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) has indicated that the House will reconsider this legislation this fall, but he was contradicted by House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY), who called tbill’s chances “bleak.” A similar bill in the Senate (S. 1243) that contains higher proposed funding levels is also awaiting consideration.

The House bill would cut funding from $51.7 billion this year to $44.1 billion in the coming federal fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 – a cut of 14.7 percent below pre-sequestration levels. By comparison, the corresponding Senate bill would increase funding to $54 billion next year, an increase of 10.5 percent. The House bill would substantially cut a number of transportation programs, including Amtrak, while further cutting housing programs for low-income families facing an increasingly tight rental housing market.

This analysis summarizes major differences between the House and Senate bills. A complete side-by-side comparison can be found at the end of the full report.

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