Partial Government Shutdown Enters 20th Day, Affecting Growing Numbers of Workers and Families
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- The partial government shutdown has entered its 20th day with no clear path forward. Congressional leaders from both parties and the President have met multiple times since the shutdown began on December 22, but the budget negotiations have not succeeded in ending the impasse over the proposed border wall. The House has passed a new bill, H.R. 264 (116), to reopen the Treasury Department, IRS and other agencies through September 30. The chamber also intends to vote by the end of this week on spending bills that would reopen the Departments of Agriculture, Housing and Urban Development, Interior and Transportation. However, the Executive Office of the President has released a statement opposing the passage of those bills without reaching an agreement over the budget impasse. In addition, the President has indicated that he may declare a national emergency over the border wall funding. Enterprise’s Senior Director of Congressional Relations Liz Osborn published a blog post explaining how the shutdown is affecting growing numbers of vulnerable workers and families across the country. Enterprise calls on Congress and the Administration to end the government shutdown and pass full year spending bills that provide strong funding for affordable housing and community development.
- House Democrats have announced their new legislative committee members for the 116th Congress, and new Republican committee members are expected to be announced soon. Enterprise looks forward to working with new and returning committee members to strengthen affordable housing. Stay tuned to our blog and newsletters for updates on advocacy opportunities in the new Congress.
- The National Institute of Building Sciences has issued an interim report on the benefits of investing in hazard mitigation. The study found a national benefit of $11 for every $1 invested in designing buildings to meet the 2018 International Residential Code and 2018 International Building Code, versus the prior generation of codes represented by 1990-era design and National Flood Insurance Program requirements. According to the report, communities that consistently meet the latest editions of commonly adopted code requirements have added 30,000 new jobs to the construction-materials industry and have boosted utilization of domestically produced construction materials. (The National Institute of Building Sciences, January 8)
- Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City has announced that his administration will launch a comprehensive plan that will guarantee health care for all New Yorkers regardless of their immigration status. This plan will serve the 600,000 New Yorkers without insurance by strengthening NYC’s public health insurance option and guaranteeing anyone ineligible for insurance has direct access to health care through a new program called NYC Care. (NYC.gov, January 8) Mayor de Blasio has also announced that his administration will pursue legislation that would mandate paid personal time across the city. It would require private employers with five or more employees to offer 10 annual days of paid personal time, which would guarantee this leave for approximately 3.4 million New Yorkers. (NYC.gov, January 9)
- The King County (WA) Council has accepted a report from countywide task force on affordable housing, which calls for building or preserving at least 44,000 affordable housing units by 2024, focusing on households earning up to 50 percent of the area median income. The report explains that to meet the current demand for affordable housing and ensure that lower-income households do not spend more than 30 percent of their income on housing, the county needs 156,000 more affordable units and an additional 88,000 by 2040. The report directs the municipalities to look at revenue authority that is already established to fund affordable housing. (Settle Weekly, January 9)
- Ginnie Mae’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Michael Bright has announced that he will be stepping down on January 16 and has requested that his nomination for president of the government-owned corporation be withdrawn. Maren Kasper, current executive vice president of Ginnie Mae, will serve as the Acting President upon Bright's departure. (HUD, January 9)