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House Approves Conference Report to Accompany Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Tuesday, December 9, 2003 - 1:45AM

The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday approved  Conference Report 108-401 to accompany the fiscal year (FY) 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill (H.R. 2673) with a vote of 242 to 176. The $328 billion bill contains seven of the 13 annual appropriations bills, including the FY 2004 Veterans Administration (VA), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Independent Agencies Appropriations measure. The bill must now be approved by the Senate, but the Senate is not expected to consider it until it reconvenes in January. In the meantime, a continuing resolution will keep the federal government operating at FY 2003 levels through Jan. 31.
The House also passed H.J.Res. 82 making further continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2004 for the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). HUD was forced to temporarily shut down the FHA multifamily mortgage insurance programs on December 4 when FHA exhausted the $3.8 billion in General Insurance/Special Risk Insurance (GI/SRI) commitment authority that was included in the September 30 continuing resolution. H.J.Res. 82 increases the FHA commitment authority to $7.667 billion. However, without Senate passage, there is concern that a six-week shutdown will have a significant effect on new developments as well as projects with commitments for other funding, including low-income housing tax credits (LIHTC).

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