Following passage of the FY 2020 omnibus legislation in December 2019, members of Congress have initiated the FY 2021 appropriations cycle and are circulating letters of support – known as “Dear Colleagues” – for key federal programs important to counties. Circulation of these endorsement letters sets the stage for legislative markups throughout the spring and summer for the twelve jurisdictional subcommittees of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee. As Congress prepares for the upcoming appropriations cycle, NACo is working to ensure county housing and economic development priorities are included in FY 2021 spending bills.
Community Development Block Grants (CDBG)
Reps. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), James P. McGovern (D-Mass.), Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) and Michael Turner (R-Ohio) are leading a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter urging leaders of the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (T-HUD) to support $3.8 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) in FY 2021. NACo worked with congressional staff on this bipartisan letter, which closed with 175 signatures. The final letter can be viewedd at this link.
In the U.S. Senate, Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.) are leading a similar bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter.
Urge your U.S. Senate members to co-sponsor the Dear Colleague letter in support of CDBG. The deadline for signatures has been extended through Monday, March 23. Members interested in signing on should contact Mary Wentworth in Sen. Tammy Baldwin’s office at 202.224.5653.
Why Does CDBG Matter to Counties?
The CDBG program was enacted in 1974 to provide block grant funding for community development programs. The program assists urban, suburban and rural communities to improve housing and living conditions, and to expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income persons. CDBG helps to create jobs through the expansion and retention of businesses. It is an important tool to help local governments tackle serious challenges facing their communities. Currently, CDBG is funded at $3.4 billion for FY 2020. The proposed FY 2021 budget form the Trump Administration recommended total elimination of the CDBG program for FY 2021.
For additional NACo resources on the CDBG program, please see the following links:
- County Highlights in the FY 2020 Spending Agreement (NACo legislative analysis)
- Support Local Development and Infrastructure Projects: Community Development Block Grant (NACo policy brief)