On Thursday, the Senate narrowly confirmed Mick Mulvaney, the President’s nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), in a 51-49 vote. Throughout the confirmation process Democrats criticized Rep. Mulvaney’s previous support for overhauling entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, and his support for the 2011 budget caps (known as “sequestration”) that have impacted key federal programs by tightening discretionary spending. His confirmation should provide momentum for the fiscal year (FY) 2018 Budget process, in which Mulvaney’s first priority will be to introduce a “skinny budget” that outlines the Administration’s full FY 2018 budget request, expected to be released later this spring.
Given Mulvaney’s reputation as a budget hawk, it is possible that the President’s budget request will reflect even lower spending limits than in recent years, making it increasingly important that affordable housing and community development advocates demonstrate strong support for the key programs that help millions of Americans each year. The Campaign for Housing and Community Development Funding (CHCDF) is circulating a national sign-on letter to urge Congress to lift the spending caps and allocate the highest possible amount for federal housing, transportation, and community development programs. The deadline for the letter is Monday, March 3.