The Senate today approved a short-term continuing resolution that was passed yesterday by the House of Representatives, granting lawmakers a two week reprieve in which to craft a longer-term spending plan. But the two parties are really no closer to that goal than they were before the short-term resolution was approved.
As we’ve detailed, the long-term continuing resolution that House Republicans have approved — which sets spending levels for the remainder of the 2011 fiscal year and is staunchly opposed by Senate Democrats — would gut important federal investments in special education, K-12 education for low-income students, federal job training, environmental protection, community health centers, infrastructure, and programs that aid both pregnant women and newborns. Yesterday, we added housing assistance for veterans to the list.
And here’s one more consequence of the drastic decrease in discretionary spending that House Republicans envision — 10,000 long term disabled people will lose their rental assistance (and likely their homes):
– Cuts in the GOP bill would result in 10,000 people with serious long-term disabilities losing rental assistance through the Section 811 voucher program. Most of these would lose their homes.
As the National Low Income Housing Coalition noted, Section 811 vouchers are “one of the few remaining HUD programs that ensures housing affordability for people with extremely low incomes, such as people who rely on SSI payments which for a one-person household equal only 18% of the national median income — far below the poverty line.” The Coalition on Human Needs bluntly noted that under the GOP plan, “more people will be homeless.”
As if that weren’t enough, the House GOP’s spending plan would also cut funding for maintenance of low-income public housing:
– [The cuts would] allow the housing units of the 1.2 million low-income families in public housing to deteriorate as the Public Housing Capital Fund — which makes maintenance and repairs on the U.S. stock of public housing — is cut by over 40 percent.
Since the Great Recession struck, Republicans in Congress have shown little sympathy for those who are losing their homes through no fault of their own. And, evidently, this attitude extends to low-income disabled people who depend on housing assistance to keep a roof over their heads.