January 27, 2011 (Chris Moore)
Newly installed Kentucky Senator Rand Paul had the distinction of giving the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address and wasted no time in keeping his promise that the Republicans would cut government spending by introducing a bill cutting all funding for the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
According to the language in the bill, once ratified, all accounts and programs for HUD would be immediately de-funded. It would also transfer all housing programs for veterans away from HUD and into the Department of Veteran’s Affairs.
“I am proud to introduce my own solution to the mounting debt our spendthrift, oversized government has accrued. By rolling back to 2008 levels and eliminating the most wasteful programs, we can still keep 85 percent of our government funding in place,” said Sen. Paul.
The Republicans have apparently decided to take a completely different approach than that of the current administrations policy of bailing out the banks, Wall Street, and complicit government agencies for what many perceive as their bad behavior that lead to the housing crisis. The bill is the latest in a Republican surge against spending on housing policy and Wall Street reform. Days after the new Congress convened, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) introduced a bill that would repeal the Dodd-Frank Act.
According to Sen. Paul’s overview of the bill: “Policies perpetuated by HUD and its related agencies played a key role fostering sub-prime lending that brought the financial system to its knees in 2008. By implementing policies that expanded risky mortgages to under qualified borrowers, HUD is directly implicated in the loss of over one million homes in 2008.”
But housing alone is not the only cut in the bill. Paul proposes reductions in costs from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Agriculture, the Departments of Energy and Education, and even defense. The bill cuts $14 billion in payments made to military personnel among other operations.
“By removing programs that are beyond the constitutional role of the federal government, such as education and housing, we are cutting nearly 40% of our projected deficit and removing the big-government bureaucrats who stand in the way of efficiency in our federal government,” Paul said in a statement released Tuesday.
This is going to be a very interesting two years.
Tags: HUD, rand paul, VA, oversizaed government, wasteful programs, federal government, risky mortgages, housing policy