CONGRESSWOMAN ELISE STEFANIK
On Wednesday, March 16, 2011, the House is scheduled to consider H.R. 861, the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Termination Act. The rule provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Financial Services. Additionally, the rule makes in order amendments printed in part B of the Rules Committee report accompanying H.Res. 170 and provides for one motion to recommit with or without instructions. The ten amendments printed in part B of the report are summarized below. The bill was introduced by Rep. Gary Miller (R-CA) on February 28, 2011, and referred to the Committee on Financial Services. On March 9, 2011, a mark-up was held and the bill was reported by a recorded vote of 31-24.
The legislation would rescind and permanently cancel all unobligated balances made available by section 1497(a) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, to the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for assistance to states and local governments for the redevelopment of abandoned and foreclosed homes and residential properties—the third round of funding for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Additionally, this legislation would repeal emergency FY2008 appropriations for the program made available by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.
The legislation would direct that any remaining funds made available for the program by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (“Stimulus”) of 2009, shall continue to be governed by any provisions of law applicable to such amounts as in effect before the date of enactment of this Act.
Lastly, the legislation would direct the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to terminate the program upon the obligation of all such amounts referenced above and outlays to liquidate them.
The Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) provides taxpayer dollars to state and local governments to purchase, renovate, rebuild, and resell abandoned and foreclosed property. Democrats funded the NSP with $4 billion in the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (the GSE bailout bill), followed by another $1.93 billion in funding through the 2009 Obama stimulus plan, and another $1 billion in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act. The program has been plagued with problems since its inception. The Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has identified multiple cases of misused NSP funds, and GAO has detailed HUD’s inadequate tracking of NSP funds.
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that the legislation would not affect direct spending, based on an assumption of enactment in summer 2011. A footnote in the CBO's report states: "If the bill was enacted sooner, or if the pace of obligations was slower than anticipated, some unobligated balances may remain at the time of enactment. In that case, the budget authority of the NSP would be reduced by the amount of unobligated balances, resulting in a corresponding decrease in direct spending."
Amendment No. 2—Rep. Sanchez (D-CA): This amendment would add Congressional findings that if the rescinded and canceled amounts were instead made available for NSP, the Congress could have rebuilt U.S. neighborhoods.
Amendment No. 3—Rep. Maloney (D-NY): This amendment would list the number of homes in each state that have been vacant for 90 days or more and which would be eligible for rehabilitation under the program. The amendment would also state that by voting to terminate this program, these units may not be able to be rehabilitated using NSP funds.
Amendment No. 4—Rep. Richardson (D-CA): This amendment would change the effective date of the bill to the sooner of: (1) 5 years from the date of enactment; or (2) the date when the national average of underwater mortgages on 1- to 4-family residential properties is 10 percent or less and the percentage of underwater mortgages relating to such properties in the state with the highest percentage of underwater residential properties is 15 percent or less.
Amendment No. 6—Rep. Hurt (R-VA): This amendment would direct that all unobligated balances rescinded by the bill be retained in the Treasury’s General Fund for the purpose of deficit reduction.
Amendment No. 7—Rep. Ellison (D-MN): This amendment would provide findings for the need for and efficacy of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.
Amendment No. 8—Rep. Ellison (D-MN): This amendment would list state-by-state funding allocations of Neighborhood Stabilization Program’s third round of funding, which would be cancelled under this Act.
Amendment No. 9—Rep. Waters (D-CA): This amendment would direct the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to study the number of homes that will not be mitigated in each Congressional district as a result of the funding rescission, and report findings to Congress.
Amendment No. 10—Rep. Waters (D-CA): This amendment would direct the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development to send a notice to NSP grantees that would have received funding under NSP that the program has been terminated.
Amendment No. 11 (may only be offered en bloc)—Rep. Castor (D-FL): This amendment would direct the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study on the future economic impact the Neighborhood Stabilization Program’s third round of funding would otherwise have on communities around the country.
Amendment No. 12 (may only be offered en bloc)—Rep. Castor (D-FL): This amendment would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to conduct a study of the economic impact the Neighborhood Stabilization Program’s first and second round of funding have had on communities around the country.