House rejects cuts to community development grants

The House on Tuesday defeated a proposal from Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) to slash funding for the Community Development Block Grant program.

Rejected 134-288, Broun's amendment to the 2015 Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill would cut the program, which funds grants for affordable housing, by $20 million.

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The THUD appropriations bill provides $3 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program, which $30 million less than the current level. It is $200 million above the Obama administration's request, however.  

Broun offered another amendment late Monday night that would cut the program by $200 million to match the president's request, but it was rejected on a voice vote. 

Broun argued it was unnecessary for Congress to provide more appropriations than in the administration's request.

"I am not asking to eliminate the Community Development Block Grant program or even cut its funding below the FY 2014 levels," Broun said.

But Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa), the chairman of the House Appropriations Transportation-Housing and Urban Development subcommittee, said the allocation would still be a reduction.

"The fact of the matter is we are $30 million less than the enacted level from last year, so there is a reduction," Latham said.