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Letters to the Editor

Support appropriations bill

To the Editor:

The Senate started debate on the fiscal 2014 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill.

The T-HUD Bill includes $3.15 billion for the Community Development Block Grant program and $1 billion for the HOME Investment Partnerships program. For the current fiscal year, CDBG is funded at $3.07 billion and HOME is at $950 million.

Habitat for Humanity and other McHenry County nonprofits rely upon these funds to provide critical services in the county. The Senate bill’s modest increases would help to strengthen local communities and economic development and housing programs.

With the uncertainty surrounding the 2014 appropriations process, it is important that senators go on record with the above-mentioned amounts for CDBG and HOME. This is especially true given the fact that the House Appropriations Committee funded CDBG at $1.6 billion for 2014 – a $1.47 billion cut – and HOME at $750 million for 2014 – a $200 million cut.

Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has filed an amendment reducing funding for CDBG from $3.15 billion to $2.79 billion.

Contact your senators and ask them to oppose the Coburn Amendment.

Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., has filed an amendment to cut HOME funding from $1 billion to $950 million.

Contact your senators and ask them to oppose the Flake Amendment.

Ask your senators to support passage of the T-HUD Appropriations bill, with modest increases to the CDBG and HOME programs approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Jerry Monica

Executive director,

Habitat for Humanity of McHenry County

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