This week, the House has scheduled to vote on a bill that is sure to please Erik Paulsen (Of course, will it please his constituents may depend upon who is his constituent).
No, not the Steve Gleason Act which he has tweeted, issued press releases and featured on his Correspondence Corner YouTube programs … sadly, although the Senate approved the legislation in April, and the Ways and Means Committee approved it in May, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy continues to fail to allow a vote. The Steve Gleason Act addresses the use of speech-generating devices for people with debilitating diseases, such as ALS, Parkinson’s, stroke and traumatic brain injuries, and Medicare. It has been approved by the Senate and House committee without any objections … why the Majority Leader has failed to allow a vote is inexcusable.
But the good news, Majority Leader McCarthy has approved a vote on another piece of legislation that Erik Paulsen co-sponsored … To designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14 3rd Avenue, NW, in Chisholm, Minnesota, as the “James L. Oberstar Memorial Post Office Building”.
Yet, neither of those issues should be controversial … but there is another bill that has been scheduled for a vote that defies Speaker Boehner’s Pillars of a New Majority pledge.
The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 2482 – Preservation Enhancement and Savings Opportunity Act of 2015 (Sponsored by Representative Erik Paulsen MN-03).
Have you heard anything about H.R. 2482 ?
Did you read the committee’s report on the bill and approval of it ?
Did you read the CBO report on the impact to our deficit ?
If not, you are not the only one … there have been no hearings or reports … and no press releases, tweets or mentions by Erik Paulsen this year.
The Preservation Enhancement and Savings Opportunity Act is not really new legislation … it was first offered on March 22, 2012 (H.R. 4253) by Erik Paulsen and Michael Grimm (R-NY) who has since resigned from Congress after pleading guilty to tax evasion. The bill never was heard by a committee and died at the end of the session.
It was re-introduced by Erik Paulsen on March 14, 2014 (H.R. 4146) … never getting any co-sponsors or a committee hearing.
This session, Erik Paulsen figured the “third time’s the charm” and introduced H.R. 2482 on May 20, 2015 … where it has not acquired any co-sponsors or been heard by a committee … yet, the Majority Leader has scheduled it for a vote.
The Pillars of a New Majority have crumbled.
Ignoring that this is not the best legislative process, what is the “heart” of the bill ?
And the obvious question … who does it help ?
The Preservation Enhancement and Savings Opportunity Act protects the ability of owners of Low Income Housing Preservation and Resident Homeownership Act (LIHPRHA) to borrow against their properties. Presently, the owner agrees to keep a property affordable and occupied by households meeting specific income eligibility criteria in return for additional HUD subsidies. The LIHPRHA statute allows owners to take distributions up to 8% of “preservation equity” as calculated at the time of the original LIHPRHA closing.
The Paulsen bill would enable owners of LIHPRHA properties to access excess project funds. The obvious concern is that the legislation may enable owners to strip a property of its equity through refinancing and not actually ensure long-term physical feasibility.
So it would seem that the “Savings Opportunity” mentioned in the bill’s title is not for the benefit of the renters but for the property owner.
Maybe there is something more to do this … but without a committee hearing, the public’s concern is that Erik Paulsen and Kevin McCarthy are trying to slip one through.
So this week is set up to be a typical week for the Republican controlled House …
Do Nothing to help ALS patients
Do Something to praise a former colleague
Do Change laws to help business owners.