House panel backs transportation, housing funding bill

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee voted 30-21 on Wednesday to approve the fiscal year 2016 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development funding bill.

The bill moves to the full House for consideration.

The bill includes financing for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Department of Transportation and other agencies.

The bill allocates $55.3 billion in discretionary spending, a $1.5 billion increase from 2015 but $9.7 billion less than President Barack Obama's original budget request.

“This bill strikes a smart, intentional balance between funding essential programs and making responsible reductions to lower-priority activities to make sure we meet our tight-budget guidelines.” U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said. “This balance allows for important investments in national transportation infrastructure and programs that promote our economic well-being, and to help those people who are in dire need of affordable housing options.”

The bill includes funds for transportation, infrastructure and housing programs that have the greatest impact across the country.

“This bill supports our nation's most critical infrastructure and housing needs by focusing on core operations and cutting wasteful programs,” Rep. Mario Diaz Balart (R-FL) said. “Though difficult decisions had to be made, I am confident our priorities will ensure the stability of these vital areas. I look forward to continue working with my colleagues to move this bill through the legislative process."

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