President Donald J. Trump signed a short-term extension of the continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded through Feb. 8, ending a three-day shutdown of the federal government that began when the Senate rejected the House proposal on a 50-49 vote late on Jan. 19. The new CR funds the government and extends the Children’s Health Insurance Program for six years. Most Senate Democrats and a small number of Republicans voted to filibuster the House version of the bill, and senators met all weekend trying to reach an agreement. On Jan. 22, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) offered a new bill, which passed the Senate on a 81-18 vote. Many Senate Democrats voted to re-open the government after receiving a commitment from Republican leadership to hold a vote on immigration legislation.
In other news, a recent article in The New York Times discussed the impacts of tax reform on affordable housing production, citing NHC member Novogradac and Company’s analysis that the lower corporate tax rate will reduce affordable housing production by nearly 235,000 homes over the next 10 years. Developers have begun looking for additional financing sources to make deals work; San Francisco experienced an increased cost of $50,000 per unit because of the lower corporate rate. The article describes how this impact would further compound the existing shortage of affordable housing. Over the next 10 years, the younger half of the millennial generation will become renters, and over the same period, more than a million units of federally subsidized affordable housing are facing expiration and a shift to higher rents. One way to address the lower corporate rate is the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act (S. 548), bipartisan legislation proposed by Senators Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), which would expand the Housing Credit by 50 percent.