The House : Redevelopment Grants

By a vote of 93 for and 289 against, the House rejected an amendment to kill the Urban Development Action Grant program by denying it fiscal 1987 funding. This rebuffed President Reagan, who wants to eliminate the program. The grants, the majority of which have benefited depressed areas in northern cities, provide federal seed money for private projects such as hotels and shopping centers. The fiscal 1987 grant funding level is estimated at $280 million, down from this year's $316 million.

The vote came during debate on a multiyear authorization measure (HR 1) that extends about 50 major housing and community development programs. The bill, carrying a fiscal 1986 price tag of $14.3 billion, remained under debate.

Amendment sponsor Rep. John Hiler (R-Ind.) said the grant program is not "in the national interest" because it has a regional bias that favors a limited number of states and congressional districts.

Rep. Nancy L. Johnson (R-Conn.), who opposed the amendment, praised the grant program for uniting government and the private sector in a constructive effort against urban blight.

Members voting yes wanted to kill the grant program.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Badham (R) x Rep. Dannemeyer (R) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Lungren (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

Public Housing

The House passed, 223 for and 100 against, an amendment to block virtually all new public housing construction by diverting money for that purpose to the repair of existing units. The vote occurred during debate on HR 1, which had earmarked about $860 million for new projects in fiscal 1986. It marked a major shift in House policy toward public housing, which in previous years had almost always resulted in money being voted for new units. The Senate also is moving to block an enlargement of public housing stock.

Sponsors said America's public housing inventory is dilapidated, with more than a third of the 1.2 million units needing repairs costing $5,000 or more. They said the $860 million would repair 64,000 units but build only 4,600 new ones.

Opponent Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said the amendment sends the bleak message that "because we've done too little in the past (to house the needy), let us solve that by doing absolutely nothing in the future."

Members voting yes supported a policy shift that emphasizes the repair of existing public housing rather than the construction of new units.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Badham (R) x Rep. Dannemeyer (R) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Lungren (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

Shelter for Homeless

By a vote of 242 for and 116 against, the House passed and sent to the Senate a bill in behalf of community activist Mitch Snyder's shelter for homeless people in the District of Columbia. Snyder, the subject of a recent television movie, has become prominent by fasting to persuade President Reagan to release federal money to shelter Washington's homeless.

The measure (HR 4784) speeds up the planned renovation of a three-story federal property near Capitol Hill that Snyder's group operates for several hundred street people. It gives the District of Columbia jurisdiction over the shelter, a precondition of the $5-million renovation that the city wants to complete before cold weather returns.

At issue during debate were the tactics used by Snyder in confronting Reagan on the homeless issue, as well as the casual attitude Snyder and his colleagues have allegedly shown toward federal tax obligations.

Members voting yes wanted to expedite the renovation of the homeless shelter near Capitol Hill.

How They Voted Yea Nay No vote Rep. Badham (R) x Rep. Dannemeyer (R) x Rep. Dornan (R) x Rep. Lungren (R) x Rep. Packard (R) x

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