Washington, DC – December 18, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Congressman David E. Price (NC-04), Ranking Member of the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee, delivered the following floor remarks in support of the Fiscal Year 2016 Appropriations omnibus bill, which would fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.
“I urge my colleagues to support this omnibus bill. It will provide funding certainty for the balance of the fiscal year. It casts off the deeply misguided sequester caps that have crippled our appropriations process and also gets rid of the poison pill riders that threatened everything from fair housing to truck safety to environmental protection to women’s health.
“This bill will allow us to begin repairing and modernizing our aging highway and transit system. It makes critical investments in railroad and aviation safety and the grants programs, such as TIGER, that will allow us to build a smarter transportation future.
“The omnibus also makes limited – but significant – progress toward addressing the affordable housing crisis. It provides desperately-needed funds to maintain and rehabilitate public housing, including increased funding for the Choice Neighborhoods program. It includes an increase in HOME Investment Partnerships to promote affordable housing.
“The bill fails to fully address our known transportation and housing needs. We still have a great deal of work to do. But whatever deficiencies this omnibus contains would only be made far worse by defeating this bill. That would likely lead to a full-year continuing resolution. That would be funding essentially at sequestration levels, decimating if not eliminating programs like TIGER, HOME, Choice Neighborhoods, and transit New Starts.
“Finally, we must resolve to get our budgetary house in order. We should pass this bill and thank everyone who worked tirelessly to bring it together, but we must stop lurching from crisis to crisis. Surely, we can do better than to depend on the threat of a shutdown to make us perform our most basic tasks.
“This bill is a small step in the right direction – far better than the alternative – but it is past time for Congress to conclude a comprehensive budget agreement, one that sets responsible funding and revenue levels and allows us to make the investments a great country must make.”