House Democrats urge leaders to keep housing in reconciliation bill

House Democrats urge leaders to keep housing in reconciliation bill
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House Democrats are pushing President BidenJoe BidenMcAuliffe holds slim lead over Youngkin in Fox News poll Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE and party leaders to keep more than $300 billion for affordable housing in their sprawling social services and climate bill.

In a letter released Wednesday night, every Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee urged Biden, Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiCongress is hell-bent on a spooky spending spree  Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' House progressives lay out priorities for spending negotiations MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerSenate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act To Win 2022: Go big on reconciliation and invest in Latinx voters McConnell-aligned group targeting Kelly, Cortez Masto and Hassan with M ad campaign MORE (D-N.Y.) to spare a historic investment in housing amid a historic rise in home prices and rents.

“It is abundantly clear that we will need long-term, equitable measures to help families recover from the effects of the pandemic by investing in housing stabilization, job creation, and increased economic opportunity,” wrote the Financial Services Democrats, led by Chairwoman Maxine WatersMaxine Moore WatersHillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Congress looks to strengthen government's aging cyber infrastructure Maxine Waters says her Twitter account has been hacked On The Money — Presented by NRHC — Senate slowly walks back from debt disaster MORE (Calif.)

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“As we continue to work together to pass a broad-ranging and comprehensive infrastructure plan, we cannot ignore the immediate housing infrastructure needs facing individuals, families, and communities throughout the United States,” they continued. “Just as we need to invest in our nation’s roads and bridges, it is also absolutely essential that we invest in our nation’s affordable housing.”

The Financial Services panel last month approved hundreds of billions in funding for public housing repairs and expansion, tax credits and incentives meant to increase the private supply of affordable housing, and payment assistance programs for first-time or low-income aspiring homeowners.

Those programs, however, are likely on the chopping block as House Democrats face tough choices on how to pare down their $3.5 trillion plan to win over moderate Democratic Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Schumer, McConnell headed for another collision over voting rights Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push MORE (W.Va.) and Kyrsten SinemaKyrsten SinemaOn The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Pelosi on addressing climate through reconciliation package: 'This is our moment' MORE (Ariz.).

How exactly Democrats slim down the package depends largely on Manchin's and Sinema’s policy priorities. It’s also unclear whether the party aims to cut costs by shortening the length of proposed programs, narrowing the scope of the bill or some combination of both.

Even so, Pelosi made no mention of affordable housing or ending homelessness in a Monday letter to House Democrats highlighting the three main focus points for the pending measure: health care, childcare and climate.

“Housing is health care, it is stability for children, it is climate justice, and it is racial justice. This is an investment that simply cannot wait and must be included at robust levels in the budget reconciliation package,” wrote the Financial Services Democrats.

“This is what families across the country—from California and Arizona, to Iowa and West Virginia—voted Democrats into office to address. This is our opportunity to meet our constituents where they are in this moment,” they continued.