During recent congressional debate on H.R. 2610, the Transportation-HUD Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2014, Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) offered an industry-supported amendment that would eliminate funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to establish disparate impact standards under the Fair Housing Act. However, House leadership withdrew the bill from consideration without a vote on the Garrett amendment. While the amendment would have given some resolution to the controversial policy, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear a case involving the issue in the fall.
The bill withdrawal signaled yet more hurdles for Congress to come to a final agreement on federal funding levels for FY 2014. Both the Senate and House appropriators have approved legislation in committee; however, neither body has been able to win enough support to move legislation forward. Congress will likely pass another continuing resolution to keep the government functioning after the summer congressional recess. However, without clarity on the federal budget, little visibility exists for key housing programs, including Section 8 voucher programs.