“NO” on FY14 THUD Appropriations Bill (Senate)

This week, the Senate could vote on the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) appropriations bill (S. 1243), which sets spending at $54 billion for fiscal year 2014.  The figure would blow through the spending caps established by the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011 and is nearly $10 billion above the House version of the legislation.

The top line figure alone is enough to merit opposition, but the Heritage Foundation has outlined a number of cuts that both the Senate could make to improve this bill.  Congress should terminate some programs altogether, such as the Essential Air Services (EAS), which would save $146 million.  Eliminating the Appalachian Regional Commission would save $3 million.  Other programs, such as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Amtrak should be privatized, which would save $12.6 billion and $1.5 billion respectively.   A whopping $393 million could be saved by closing down the outdated Maritime Administration (MARAD), which was created in 1950 to provide domestic maritime commerce in the event of a national emergency and today actually undermines competitiveness of U.S. shipping and shipbuilding industries.

Heritage explains why cuts to this appropriations bill are sorely needed:

Spending should be reined in to bring the national debt—which is on course to increase by 50 percent during the next decade—under control. While the programmatic reforms discussed above cannot happen overnight, lawmakers can take concrete steps in this year’s appropriations process to eliminate wasteful, poorly targeted, and inefficient spending. The THUD bill is a good place to start.

Heritage Action opposes the Senate THUD spending bill and reserves the right to include any and all votes related to it as a key vote in our legislative scorecard. 

Related links:
Heritage Action Scorecard
How to Cut $30 Billion More from the THUD Bill