Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after 14 of his House colleagues joined him in calling for House and Senate Committee Chairman to include a Gosar amendment, blocking President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, in the final Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD), and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016 bill or omnibus appropriations package:
“The American people voted in Republican majorities to both the House and Senate in 2014 so that we would put the brakes on an out-of-control administration. In order to do that, Republicans must act boldly and follow through on our promises of blocking nonsensical new regulations enacted under this president by executive fiat.
“The Obama Administration’s new housing rule is no different. This terrible new regulation is an attempt to extort communities into giving up control of local zoning decisions and will reengineer the makeup of our neighborhoods. Important grants for local communities will be stripped away if communities do not conform and implement illogical standards concocted by D.C. bureaucrats. Just as the president has used the DOJ, IRS and DHS as a political weapon, he has now expanded his arsenal to include HUD, as he seeks to fundamentally transform America.
“Twice, the full House of Representatives has passed my amendment to protect American communities from this overreach. It’s time that appropriators heed our call and block Obama’s utopian housing regulation.”
The appropriations rider request was sent to:
Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee
Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) Subcommittee Chairman on Transportation Housing and Urban Development
Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) Chariman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs
Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) Chairman of the Subcommittee on Housing transportation and Community Development
The full text of Congressman Gosar’s appropriations rider request can be found HERE.
The list of the 15 House co-signers that asked appropriators to block this new regulation include: Congressman Paul Gosar, Trent Franks, Brian Babin, D.D.S., Marsha Blackburn, Steve Chabot, Scott DesJarlais, Stephen Fincher, Louie Gohmert, Glenn Grothman, David P. Joyce, Cynthia Lummis, Thomas Massie, Lamar Smith, Lynn Westmoreland and Ted Yoho.
The AFFH rule seeks to use the disparate impact legal theory to justify social engineering of local neighborhoods. It would do so by withholding Community Development Block Grant funds from towns and cities unless they meet utopian standards of integration based on sex, income, religion, race, and other federally protected demographics. HUD is essentially creating a set of rules and regulations to which communities must conform, or face losing out on tens of millions of dollars in grant money annually. Further, the rule will result in increased local taxes, will depress property values, and will cause further harm to impoverished communities that actually need these funds.
The House of Representatives has already voted twice to defund the AFFH rule during consideration of the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bills for fiscal years 2015 and 2016 (please see Roll Call Vote no. 285 from the 113th Congress and Roll Call Vote no. 311 from the 114th Congress).
Americans for Limited Government supported the Gosar amendment each time stating, “Housing discrimination based on race has been illegal since the 1960s, and people should be allowed to choose for themselves where they live without D.C. bureaucrats nationalizing zoning decisions for political reasons.”
In addition, Congressman Gosar’s bill, the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act, H.R. 1995, rejecting this overreaching regulation is currently cosponsored by 20 members in the House.
According to reports, in 2012, this mandate would have negatively impacted more than 1,200 municipalities throughout the country, costing these communities to forfeit millions that are meant help the neediest families.
A trial run of the new AFFH regulation already took place in the State of New York. The result was a failure and a local county was initially forced to forego $12 million in funds that would have benefited the community due to the impractical and unrealistic requirements associated with misguided agency regulation. The county had intended to use a large portion of these block grant funds to establish public housing for individuals in need.
Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and writer for National Review, has been following this issue for years and published an article prior to the vote entitled, Obama’s Next Transformation: And How to Stop It.
Congressman Gosar wrote and op-ed for Investor’s Business Daily titled Latest Federal Mandate On 'Fair Housing' Is Anything But, which can be read HERE.