As the Senate considers amendments to S. 1243, the Fiscal Year 2014 Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill, NTU urges Senators to support those proposals that restrain spending and save taxpayers money. To that end, NTU will consider “YES” votes on the following amendments to be the pro-taxpayer position:
- #1797, #1784, #1786: Cornyn, Johnson/Vitter, Johnson/Vitter/Hatch “No Bailouts” Amendments: These amendments would ensure taxpayer funds are not used to bailout bankrupt local or state governments.
- #1752: Coburn: Small Community Air Service Development Program Amendment: This amendment would strike funding for the Small Community Air Service Development program that has been on the Administration’s chopping block for four years in a row – and rightfully so. Intended to fund expansion of commercial air service at rural airports, nearly 70 percent of the projects it funds end in failure. Elimination of the program could save taxpayers $60 million, according to the 2011 NTU-U.S. PIRG “Toward Common Ground” report.
- #1753: Coburn: Interagency Council on Homelessness Amendment: This amendment would strike the extension of the Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is already authorized through 2015. To ensure taxpayer funds are being used responsibly and the Interagency Council on Homelessness is working effectively, serious reevaluation should take place before reauthorization. Striking this extension would provide the opportunity for reconsideration and the prevention of duplication.
- #1756: Coburn: Transparency Amendment: This amendment would increase transparency and accountability by ensuring that all reports required in the underlying bill be made available to all Members of Congress as well as the public.
- #1740: Paul: Davis-Bacon Amendment: This amendment would prohibit funding from S. 1243 from being used to implement, administer, or enforce the prevailing wage requirements under the Davis-Bacon Act, saving taxpayers considerable sums.
- #1743: Paul: REINS Act Amendment: This amendment would implement the Regulations from the Executive In Need of Scrutiny or REINS Act, increasing legislative control and accountability over federal regulatory policy by requiring Congress to affirmatively approve any rule that may result in an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more.
- #1765: Flake: Amtrak Accountability Amendment: This amendment would require Amtrak to submit a report to Congress regarding the ongoing mismanagement of food and beverage and first class services. Food and beverage services in particular lost at least $84 million in 2011 alone. Amtrak’s losses shouldn’t, in turn, be taxpayer losses and the service is long overdue for reform.
- #1795: Flake: HOME Amendment: This amendment would save taxpayers $50 million by bringing funding for the Home Investment Partnership Program – currently pegged at $1 billion, which is already $2 million over FY13 enacted levels – in line with the President’s request of $950 million. Given our fiscal challenges, Congress should be focused on spending less, not more, at every possible juncture.
NTU continues to oppose the underlying bill, S. 1243, and roll call votes on the above amendments will be included in our annual Rating of Congress.
If you have any questions, please contact NTU Federal Affairs Manager Nan Swift at (703) 683-5700