Last night the House, by a vote of 229-193, passed the Gosar amendment which blocks any funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development to enforce President Obama’s affirmatively furthering fair housing rule (AFFH). AFFH is an initiative to use the power of the national government to create communities of a certain kind, each having what the federal government deems an appropriate mix of economic, racial, and ethnic diversity.
I want to thank all of the Power Line readers who urged their representative to vote for the Gosar amendment.
The amendment now goes to the Senate. I understand that Sen. Mike Lee will spearhead the effort to pass it.
Stanley Kurtz, who leads the charge against AFFH, believes prospects for Senate passage are real, but “very far from guaranteed.”
Kurtz also believes that AFFH will be an issue in the presidential campaign, and he may well be right. Hillary Clinton, having set sail to the left, will almost surely support AFFH. And unlike some of her pet left-wing stances — such as raising the minimum wage — support for AFFH could easily put her on the wrong side of popular opinion.
Keep in mind too that HUD Secretary Julian Castro, widely considered the front runner for the Democratic VP nomination, will be in charge of implementing AFFH, assuming the Gosar amendment doesn’t become law. Meanwhile, as Kurtz says, both members of the Republican ticket are certain to oppose AFFH.
The initial stages of AFFH implementation, if it proceeds, will involve collecting information on the precise racial, ethnic, and income distribution of housing in nearly every census tract in the nation. The pressure on municipalities throughout America to abandon local zoning policies, re-engineer housing stock at local expense, and join regional consortia will come later, after the 2016 election, I assume.
However, an astute Republican presidential candidate should be able to warn voters of what’s in store under AFFH. If voters understand the extent to which this Democratic party agenda item threatens, in Kurtz’s words, to urbanize suburbs and Manhattanize cities, it will be to Hillary Clinton’s detriment.