Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations for FY2020: In Brief

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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) Appropriations for FY2020: In Brief

Updated July 2, 2019 (R45774)

The House and the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations subcommittees are charged with providing annual appropriations for the Department of Transportation (DOT), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and certain related agencies. This report describes and tracks action on FY2020 annual appropriations for THUD, including detailed tables for each major agency.

FY2020 Appropriations Process

Appropriations for DOT, HUD, and the related agencies typically funded in the THUD bill happen in the context of the broader annual congressional appropriations process. That process generally begins with the submission of the President's budget request and the adoption of the congressional budget resolution that sets the overall level of spending for that year's appropriations bills. For FY2020, the first step was delayed, and the second step has not yet occurred.

The President's budget submission for FY2020 was submitted on March 11, 2019, about five weeks after the statutory deadline. The delay was, in part, attributable to extended negotiations over a number of the FY2019 annual appropriations bills (including THUD), during which there was a five-week government shutdown. Ultimately, appropriations for these annual bills were enacted on February 15, 2019, completing FY2019 annual appropriations almost five months after the start of FY2019.

The annual adoption of a congressional budget resolution by its target date of April 15 is meant to provide an opportunity for Congress to consider and agree on an overall budget framework for that year's appropriations bills. For FY2020, the House and Senate have not yet agreed to a budget resolution.

In the absence of agreement on a budget resolution, on April 9, 2019, the House adopted a deeming resolution for FY2020 (H.Res. 293), which gave the House Appropriations Committee a spending allocation of approximately $1.295 trillion for FY2020. This is about $176 billion (+16%) more than the combined FY2020 statutory discretionary spending limits for defense and nondefense spending under the Budget Control Act (BCA), as amended.1 The current law BCA limits come to $1.119 trillion, with $576 billion allocated to defense spending and $543 billion allocated to nondefense spending. Because the House allocation of $1.295 trillion exceeds amounts available under the statutory discretionary spending limits and because the Senate has not agreed to the same allocation, complications may arise as the House and Senate seek to resolve their differences on appropriations.

FY2020 THUD Appropriations Status

President's Budget

The Administration's budget request proposed cutting funding for THUD agencies by 8.6% ($11.3 billion) from their FY2019 levels. The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) would have been reduced by 17% (-$7.6 billion), DOT by 4% (-$3.6 billion), and the independent agencies in Title III of the THUD bill by 35% (-$127 million) (see Table 1). The reductions in HUD funding would have come from zeroing out a half-dozen programs, the largest of which was the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, and reducing funding for many more programs. The reductions in DOT funding would have come primarily from reducing funding for highways, new transit lines, and Amtrak. Two independent agencies, the Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation, are also proposed for significant reductions in the President's Budget request.

House Action

The House Committee on Appropriations reported out H.R. 3163, the THUD FY2020 Appropriations Act, on June 6, 2019. The committee recommended a 4.6% ($6 billion) increase in funding over the comparable FY2019 figure, with most of the increase going to HUD (see Table 1), though that increase is partially offset by a reduction in offsetting receipts from HUD's mortgage insurance program.

On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, the House Rules Committee approved a rule amending H.R. 3055 by adding the texts of several other appropriations bills, including the FY2020 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Other Independent Agencies (THUD) appropriations (as reported in H.R. 3163) as Division E. That consolidated appropriations bill was passed by the House on June 25, 2019. A number of THUD-related amendments were adopted; those amendments are not reflected in the remainder of this report at this time.

Table 1. THUD Bill Appropriations by Title, FY2019-FY2020

(dollars in millions)

 

FY2019 Enacted

FY2020 Request

FY2020 House-Reported

FY2020 Senate

FY2020 Enacted

Title I: DOT

 

 

 

 

 

Discretionary

26,493

21,585

25,327

 

 

Mandatory

59,987

61,320

61,321

 

 

DOT Total

86,481

82,904

86,648

 

 

Title II: HUD

44,208

36,649

50,064

 

 

Title III: Other Independent Agencies

361

234

380

 

 

Title IV: General Provisions

17

 

 

Total Discretionary

71,079

58,468

75,771

 

 

Total Mandatory

59,987

61,320

61,321

 

 

Total

131,066

119,788

137,092

 

 

Source: Comparative Statement of Budget Authority, pp. 170-189, in H.Rept. 116-106.

Notes: The THUD totals include both discretionary budget authority and contract authority (a type of budget authority provided to DOT that is not included in the bill's discretionary budget authority figure). The total discretionary budget authority for the bill is $75.8 billion. The FY2019 THUD total excludes $5.8 billion in emergency appropriations.

Department of Transportation

The committee recommended virtually level funding (an increase of $167 million) for DOT for FY2020, relative to the comparable level for FY2019. The details of the recommended funding can be found in Table 2.

Table 2. Department of Transportation FY2019-FY2020 Detailed Budget Table

(dollars in millions)

Department of Transportation
Selected Accounts

FY2019 Enacted

FY2020 Request

FY2020 House-Reported

FY2020 Senate

FY2020 Enacted

Office of the Secretary (OST)

National infrastructure investment (BUILD/TIGER)

900

1,000

1,000

 

 

Payments to air carriers (Essential Air Service)a

175

125

175

 

 

Nationally significant freight projects

1,035

 

 

Total, OST

1,241b

2.353

1,386

 

 

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Operations

10,411

10,340

10,678

 

 

Facilities & equipment

3,000

3,295

3,000

 

 

Research, engineering, & development

191

120

191

 

 

Grants-in-aid for airports (Airport Improvement Program) (limitation on obligations)

3,350

3,350

3,350

 

 

Airport Discretionary Grants

500

500

 

 

Total, FAA

17,452

17,105

17,719

 

 

Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)

Federal-Aid Highways: limitation on obligations + exempt contract authority)

46,008

47,104

47,104

 

 

Federal-Aid Highways: discretionary funding

3,250

300

1,750

 

 

Rescission of budget authority

-210

 

 

Total, FHWA

49,258

47,194

48,854

 

 

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)

Motor carrier safety operations and programs

284

288

288

 

 

Motor carrier safety grants to states

383

388

389

 

 

Total, FMCSA

667

676

677

 

 

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)

Operations and research

342

306

369

 

 

Highway traffic safety grants to states (limitation on obligations)

610

623

623

 

 

Impaired driving/highway-rail grade crossing safety

14

17

 

 

Child safety and booster seat grants

1

 

 

Total, NHTSA

966

929

1,010

 

 

Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

Safety and operations

222

213

227

 

 

Research and development

41

19

42

 

 

Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing Program subsidy

 

 

 

Amtrak

 

 

 

 

 

Northeast Corridor grants

650

325

700

 

 

National Network

1,292

611

1,292

 

 

Subtotal, Amtrak grants

1,942

936

1,992

 

 

Consolidated rail infrastructure and safety improvements

255

330

350

 

 

Federal-state partnership for State of Good Repair

400

350

 

 

Restoration and enhancement grants

5

550

 

 

Magnetic Levitation Program

10

10

 

 

Transportation Technology Center

100

 

 

Rescission

-56

 

 

Total, FRA

2,874

2,093

2,970

 

 

Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Administrative Expenses

113

111

117

 

 

Formula grants (M)

9,939

10,150

10,150

 

 

Technical assistance and training

5

5

 

 

Capital Investment Grants (New Starts)

2,553

1,505

2,302

 

 

Transit Infrastructure grants

700

500

750

 

 

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority

150

150

150

 

 

Rescission

-47

 

 

Total, FTA

13,414

12,416

13,474

 

 

Maritime Administration (MARAD)

Maritime Security Program

300

300

300

 

 

Operations and training

149

377

154

 

 

State maritime academy operations

345

345

 

 

Assistance to small shipyards

20

20

 

 

Ship disposal

5

5

5

 

 

Maritime Guaranteed Loan Program

3

3

 

 

Port infrastructure development program

293

225

 

 

Total, MARAD

1,115

657

1,053

 

 

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

Subtotal

247

226

253

 

 

Offsetting user fees

-142

-127

-145

 

 

Emergency preparedness grants (M)

28

28

28

 

 

Total, PHMSA

275

255

281

 

 

Office of Inspector General

93

92

97

 

 

Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation

36

28

40

 

 

DOT Totals

Appropriation (discretionary funding)

26,540

21,875

25,327

 

 

Limitations on obligations (M)

59,987

61,320

61,321

 

 

Subtotal—new funding

86,185

76,165

87,758

 

 

Rescissions of discretionary funding

-47

-265

 

 

Rescissions of contract authority

 

 

Net new discretionary funding

26,493

21,585

25,327

 

 

Net new budget authority

86,481

82,904

86,648

 

 

Supplemental Emergency Funding

1,661c

 

 

Net new budget authority (inc. emergency funding)

88,142

82,904

86,648

 

 

Source: Comparative Statement of Budget Authority, pp. 170-184, in H.Rept. 116-106.

Notes: Totals may not add due to rounding.

a. In addition to its appropriation, the Essential Air Service program receives funding from overflight fees; for FY2020, those fees will provide an additional $150 million to the program.

b. The FY2019 figure does not include a one-time $17 million appropriation for the Railroad Rehabilitation and Infrastructure Finance program, provided in Title IV: General Provisions, to cover the cost of DOT defining "cohorts" of loans preparatory to refunding the credit risk premium to borrowers who have repaid their loans.

c. Includes $1.650 in emergency relief funding through the Federal Highway Administration and $11 million in Public Transportation emergency relief through the Federal Transit Administration provided by P.L. 116-20.

Selected DOT Issues

Infrastructure Funding

The bill would provide several boosts above the authorized levels of infrastructure funding: $1 billion for the BUILD competitive grant program (not an authorized program), $500 million for discretionary grants to airports (in addition to the $3.35 billion authorized), $3.25 billion for highway programs (in addition to the $46 billion authorized amount), and $750 million for transit infrastructure grants (in addition to the $3.5 billion authorized). Some of that funding could potentially go to Amtrak's Hudson Tunnel Replacement Project, a project cited as critical by DOT but which has been a source of contention between the Trump Administration and the States of New York and New Jersey.

Commercial Truck Safety

The congressional mandate for heavy trucks to be equipped with electronic logging devices (ELDs) to track the time worked by drivers went into effect at the end of 2017.2 ELDs make it harder for drivers to exceed federal-hours-of service limits, which limit the amount of time a driver can drive each day and each week to reduce the risk of truckers driving while fatigued. The hours-of-service limits were not changed when ELDs became mandatory. However, objections from certain sectors of the trucking industry have led Congress and the President to repeatedly waive enforcement of the ELD mandate with respect to livestock haulers, and to consider amending the hours-of-service rules to provide more flexibility to drivers. These steps have been opposed by safety advocates. The THUD bill includes provisions that would extend the waiver for livestock haulers (§131).

In the committee report accompanying the bill, the committee directs the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to implement the recommendations in a recent Government Accountability Office report on truck underride guards3 which are intended to prevent cars from "underriding" truck trailers in a crash. Underride refers to crashes in which the body of a car goes under a truck trailer, and the first contact between the two vehicles is the roof of the car being sheared off by contact with the trailer. In such crashes the safety features of passenger cars, such as crumple zones, safety belts, and air bags, are not able to protect the vehicle occupants.

California High Speed Rail Project

The Administration announced in February 2019 that it would cancel the remaining $929 million in federal funding for the California High Speed Rail Project after California's new governor announced that the project would be scaled back. Section 193 of the bill would bar DOT from canceling the funding, or from reallocating the money until any litigation concerning the funding is completed.

Automobile Fuel Economy Standards

Section 145 of the bill would prevent the Administration from suspending the higher corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards that are scheduled to go into effect applying to model year 2022-2025 vehicles.4

Department of Housing and Urban Development

As shown in Table 3, the President's FY2020 budget requested a reduction of 18% relative to FY2019 in gross appropriations available for programs and activities. Conversely, H.R. 3163 proposes to provide an increase of 6.9% in gross appropriations for HUD in FY2020 relative to FY2019.

Table 3. Department of Housing and Urban Development, FY2019-FY2020

(dollars in millions)

Accounts

FY2019 Enacted

FY2020 Request

FY2020 House-Reported

FY2020 Senate

FY2020 Enacted

Appropriations

 

 

 

 

 

Salaries and Expenses (Mgmt. & Adm.)

1,379

1,400

1,385

 

 

Tenant-Based Rental Assistance (Sec. 8 Housing Choice Vouchers)

22,598

22,238

23,810

 

 

Voucher Renewals (non-add)

20,313

20,116

21,400

 

 

Administrative Fees (non-add)

1,886

1,738

1,925

 

 

VASH (non-add)

40

0

40

 

 

FUP (non-add)

20

0

40

 

 

Mobility Demonstration (non-add)

25

0

25

 

 

Public Housing Capital Fund

2,775

0

2,855a

 

 

Public Housing Operating Fund

4,653

2,863

4,753

 

 

Choice Neighborhoods

150

0

300

 

 

Family Self Sufficiency

80

75

[100]b

 

 

Self Sufficiency Programsb

NA

NA

150

 

 

Native American Housing Block Grants

755

600

NAc

 

 

Native American Housing Block Grants (non-add)

646

598

[671]c

 

 

Competitive Grants (non-add)

100

0

[100]c

 

 

Native American Programsc

NA

NA

855

 

 

Indian housing loan guarantee

1

3

3

 

 

Native Hawaiian block grant

2

0

3

 

 

Housing, persons with AIDS (HOPWA)

393

330

410

 

 

Community Development Fund

3,365

0

3,600

 

 

CDBG Formula Grants

3,300

0

3,600

 

 

Indian Tribes

65

0

[75]c

 

 

HOME Investment Partnerships

1,250

0

1,750

 

 

Self-Help Homeownership

54

0

55

 

 

Self-Help and Assisted Homeownership Opportunity Program

10

0

10

 

 

Section 4 Capacity Building

35

0

40

 

 

Rural Capacity Building

5

0

5

 

 

Veterans Home Rehabilitation Pilot Program

4

0

0

 

 

Homeless Assistance Grants

2,636

2,599

2,800d

 

 

Project-Based Rental Assistance (Sec. 8)

11,747

12,020

12,590

 

 

Contract Renewals

11,502

11,676

12,245

 

 

Contract Administrators

245

345

345

 

 

Rental Assistance Demonstration

100

0

 

 

Housing for the Elderly (Section 202)

678

644

803e

 

 

Housing for Persons with Disabilities (Section 811)

184

157

259

 

 

Housing Counseling Assistance

50

45

60

 

 

Manufactured Housing Fees Trust Fundf

12

12

12

 

 

Rental Housing Assistance

5

3

3

 

 

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Expensesf

130

150

130

 

 

Government National Mortgage Assn. (GNMA) Expensesf

28

28

28

 

 

Research and technology

96

87

98

 

 

Fair housing activities

65

62

75

 

 

Fair Housing Assistance Program (non-add)

24

24

27

 

 

Fair Housing Initiatives Program (non-add)

40

36

46

 

 

Office, lead hazard control

279

290

290

 

 

Information Technology Fund

280

280

300

 

 

Inspector General

128

129

132

 

 

Gross Appropriations Subtotal

53,774

44,114

57,508

 

 

Offsetting Collections and Receipts

 

 

 

 

 

Manufactured Housing Fees Trust Fund

-12

-12

-12

 

 

FHA

-7,550

-6,271

-6,251

 

 

GNMA

-2,004

-1,182

-1,182

 

 

Offsets Subtotal

-9,566

-7,465

-7,445

 

 

Rescissions

 

 

 

 

 

Section 237 (Indian Housing Loan Guarantee)

<1

0

0

 

 

Rescissions Subtotal

<1

0

0

 

 

Total Net Discretionary Budget Authority

44,208

36,649g

50,064

 

 

Supplemental Disaster Relief Funding

4,111h

0

0

 

 

Total w/ Disaster Funding

48,319

36,649

50,064

 

 

Source: HUD FY2020 Congressional Budget Justifications and Comparative Statement of Budget Authority, pp. 170-189, in H.Rept. 116-106.

Notes: Totals may not add due to rounding. Only selected set-asides are presented in this table. Figures include advance appropriations available in the fiscal year, rather than provided in the bill.

a. H.R. 3163 would fund two set-asides generally funded in this account—Resident Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency and Jobs-Plus—in a new Self Sufficiency Programs account. See table note b.

b. H.R. 3163 would create a new "Self Sufficiency Programs" account and in it provide $100 million for the Family Self Sufficiency Program—$35 million for Resident Opportunities for Self Sufficiency and $15 million for Jobs Plus, both of which are generally funded through set-asides in the Public Housing Capital Fund account.

c. H.R. 3163 would create a new Native American Programs account, funding Native American Housing Block Grants, Indian CDBG, and the Tile VI Loan program.

d. The proposal in H.R. 3163 for the Homeless Assistance Grants includes $290 million for the Emergency Solutions Grants. The remainder of the funding, for the Continuum of Care program, includes set asides to assist survivors of domestic violence ($50 million) and homeless youth ($100 million, an increase over the $80 million appropriated in FY2019).

e. H.R. 3163 would provide $10 million in the Housing for the Elderly account to assist low-income elderly households with home modifications. This amount was also included in the FY2019 appropriation.

f. Some or all of the cost of funding these accounts is offset by the collection of fees or other receipts. Those offsets are shown later in this table.

g. The President's Budget request includes $7 million in rescissions of advance appropriations provided in the bill but not available until the subsequent fiscal year. Thus the total requested to be provided in the bill is $7 million less than the amount shown here.

h. Includes $1.68 billion provided by P.L. 115-254 and $2.431 billion provided by P.L. 116-20 to the Community Development Fund for CDBG-Disaster Relief grants.

Selected HUD Issues

Grant Funding

The President's budget request for FY2020 again included a proposal to eliminate funding for several HUD grant programs that support various affordable housing and community development activities. Most notable among these are HUD's two largest block grant programs for states and localities, CDBG and HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), as well as competitive grants funded in the Self-Help Homeownership Opportunity Program (SHOP) account (i.e., funding for sweat-equity programs, like Habitat for Humanity, and certain capacity-building programs). The HUD press release accompanying the budget request suggests that the activities funded by these grant programs should be devolved to the state and local levels.5

These grant programs were also slated for elimination in the President's FY2018 and FY2019 budget requests, although they were ultimately funded in each of those fiscal years. H.R. 3163 includes funding for each program.

Rental Assistance

Combined, HUD's rental assistance programs (tenant-based rental assistance, public housing, project-based rental assistance, and the Section 202 and Section 811 programs) serve roughly 4.7 million low-income individuals and families. Through the various programs, the federal government provides subsidies to allow families to pay low, income-based rents, generally set at 30% of a family's adjusted income.

The HUD press release accompanying the budget requests contends that the requested funding for the various rental assistance programs would be sufficient to continue to serve all currently assisted households.6 However, the President's budget documents assume adoption of a set of rent reforms designed to increase tenant rents and therefore reduce federal subsidies that were proposed in 2018 but have seen no legislative action in Congress.7 H.R. 3163 would not adopt the proposed rent reforms, and instead proposes to provide increased funding for each of these programs.

Policy Provisions

H.R. 3163 includes a number of new General Provisions to block HUD's implementation of various administrative actions that have been considered controversial:

  • Section 234 would block HUD's implementation of a proposed rule to restrict the eligibility of certain families composed of members with varied immigration statuses from receiving housing assistance.8
  • Section 236 would block HUD from revising or repealing HUD rules related to equal access to housing based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Section 237 could codify other HUD guidance related to transgender persons' access to emergency shelters in accordance with gender identity.
  • Section 238 would prevent HUD from altering its Annual Contributions Contracts used in the public housing program without going through a notice-and-rulemaking process.

THUD Independent Agencies

Table 4. THUD Independent Agencies, FY2019-FY2020

(dollars in millions)

Related Agencies

FY2019 Enacted

FY2020 Request

FY2020 House-Reported

FY2020 Senate

FY2020 Enacted

Access Board

8

8

8

 

 

Federal Maritime Commission

28

28

28

 

 

National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) Office of Inspector General

23

23

23

 

 

National Transportation Safety Board

110

110

110

 

 

Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks)

152

27

170

 

 

Surface Transportation Board

37

37

37

 

 

Offsetting Collections

-1

-1

-1

 

 

U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness

4

1

4

 

 

Total

361

234

380

 

 

Source: FY2020 President's Budget documents and Comparative Statement of Budget Authority, pp. 170-189, in H.Rept. 116-106.

Note: Totals may not add due to rounding.

Selected Independent Agencies Issues

USICH

As in FY2018 and FY2019, the President's FY2020 budget requested legislation to begin the process of winding down the Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), which was created in 1987 to coordinate across government agencies to reduce and end homelessness. The requested funding level was intended to cover salaries, benefits, and operational costs for permanently closing the agency. The USICH has a statutory sunset date—currently, October 1, 2028—that has generally been extended in annual appropriations acts. H.R. 3163 proposes to maintain level funding for the USICH and to extend the statutory sunset date.

NeighborWorks America

Similarly, and as in FY2018 and FY2019, the President's FY2020 budget included a request for legislation to begin the process of winding down federal funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (commonly known as NeighborWorks America), which was created via federal charter in 1978 to support affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization nationwide. The requested funding level of $27 million is intended to cover personnel, administrative, and other costs associated with winding down existing commitments. H.R. 3163 proposes to increase funding for NeighborWorks America relative to FY2019.

Author Contact Information

Maggie McCarty, Specialist in Housing Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])
David Randall Peterman, Analyst in Transportation Policy ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])

Footnotes

1.

The House deeming resolution H.Res. 293. See also the Congressional Budget Office's Status of Discretionary Appropriations: FY20 House, available at https://www.cbo.gov/system/files?file=2019-06/FY2020-House-2019-05-20_0.pdf.

2.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, "Final Rule: Electronic Logging Devices," 80 FR 78292, December 16, 2015, https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2015-12-16/pdf/2015-31336.pdf.

3.

Government Accountability Office, Truck Underride Guards: Improved Data Collection, Inspections, and Research Needed, GAO-19-264, March 14, 2019.

4.

See CRS In Focus IF10871, Vehicle Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Standards, for more information.

5.

HUD, "Trump Administration Proposes 2020 HUD Budget: Spending plan preserves rental subsidies; increases homeless assistance and healthy housing," press release, March 11, 2019, https://www.hud.gov/press/press_releases_media_advisories/HUD_No_19_027.

6.

Ibid.

7.

See HUD FY2020 Congressional Budget Justifications, "Overview of Rental Assistance Programs," available at https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/CFO/documents/2020CJ-OverviewOfRentalAssistancePrograms.pdf.

8.

For more information, see CRS Insight IN11121, HUD's Proposal to End Assistance to Mixed Status Families.