Provision to Rescind Hardest Hit Funds Removed From Senate Highway Bill
Senate leaders have removed a provision that would have rescinded unobligated Hardest Hit Fund (HHF) program funds from a transportation reauthorization bill (the DRIVE Act) that it is currently considering. NCSHA summarized the now-deleted provision in a blog post published yesterday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced the change this morning on the Senate floor when he introduced an amended version of the DRIVE Act. McConnell then undertook a parliamentary procedure to effectively limit the number of amendments to the bill that the Senate may consider. Consequently, it is all but assured that the final version of the bill the Senate votes on next week will not include language rescinding HHF funds.
The drive to remove the HHF rescission was led by Senators Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Gary Peters (D-MI), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), although many other senators were likely involved. These senators all expressed deep concern about how the provision would eliminate key homeowner assistance and neighborhood stabilization programs in their states.
NCSHA and many HFAs reached out to Senators to express their opposition to the provisions rescinding HHF funds. Michigan State Housing Development Authority and the Ohio Housing Finance Agency worked especially closely with their delegations to get the provision removed.
Moving forward, NCSHA will continue to work with Treasury and potentially affected HFAs to ensure that Congress does not consider using unobligated HHF funds as a pay-for for other legislative initiatives. HFAs and their partners should email Greg Zagorski with any questions they may have.