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Friday, November 15, 2013

Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD): FY2014 Appropriations

Libby Perl
Specialist in Housing Policy

David Randall Peterman
Analyst in Transportation Policy

Maggie McCarty Specialist in Housing Policy

The House and Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (THUD) appropriations subcommittees are charged with providing annual appropriations for the Department of Transportation (DOT), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and related agencies. The HUD budget generally accounts for the largest share of discretionary appropriations provided by the subcommittee. However, when mandatory funding is taken into account, DOT’s budget is larger than HUD’s budget, because it includes funding from transportation trust funds. Mandatory funding typically accounts for a little less than half the bill total.

The House and the Senate have passed budgets with significantly different levels of funding. Following from this, the House and Senate THUD bills were allocated very different levels of discretionary funding for FY2014: $44.1 billion in the House, and $54.0 billion in the Senate, a difference of 23%.

Comparing funding levels proposed for FY2014 with the amounts provided in FY2013 is complex. In FY2013, Congress funded THUD agencies through a full-year continuing resolution, which provided funding generally at the same level as in FY2012, with some exceptions, and which included a 0.2% across-the-board rescission. That funding was subsequently reduced by the imposition of a sequester, which cut discretionary funding levels by around 5%. This reduced THUD funding by roughly $4.6 billion: around $1.6 billion from DOT and $3 billion from HUD.

The Administration requested $76.9 billion for DOT for FY2014. Congress enacted $71.3 billion for DOT in FY2013; after the sequester reduction, DOT received around $70.6 billion. The biggest change in the Administration’s request from current funding was a proposal to restructure the Federal Railroad Administration, creating two new programs that would support existing passenger rail service and fund improvements to rail infrastructure. The Administration requested $6.4 billion for those new programs, an increase of roughly $5 billion over the amount currently provided for those purposes. Neither the House nor Senate bills support that proposal.

The President’s FY2014 budget requested nearly $35 billion in net new budget authority for HUD in FY2014. Congress enacted $33.4 billion for HUD in FY2013. As of the date of this report, HUD had not publicly released final FY2013 appropriations levels that reflect both the 0.2% across-the-board rescission and sequestration reductions. As a result, comparisons to official FY2013 final funding levels are not available. The House bill (H.R. 2610) would provide $28 billion in net new budget authority, while the Senate bill (S. 1243) would provide just over $35 billion.

Congress did not enact any final FY2014 appropriations prior to the start of the fiscal year on October 1, 2013, resulting in a funding lapse and partial government shutdown that lasted until a short-term continuing resolution was enacted on October 17, 2013. Under the terms of that CR (P.L. 113-46), federal departments and agencies, including those typically funded by the THUD appropriations bill, are funded at their FY2013 levels, post-rescission and post-sequestration, back-dated from October 1, 2013, through January 15, 2014. The CR contained several THUD-related anomalies.

Date of Report: October 25, 2013
Number of Pages: 29
Order Number: R43156
Price: $29.95

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