We’ve covered the efforts of House Republicans, led by Rep. Paul Gosar, to block the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation — Obama’s hook for controlling local governments and dictating how Americans shall live. The House has passed Gosar’s amendment to defund AFFH, and he has written stand-alone legislation to repeal the rule.
Now, Mike Lee has introduced a bill in the Senate to defund AFFH. Lee’s co-sponsors are Tom Cotton, Mike Enzi, Jeff Sessions, David Vitter, and Marco Rubio.
Rubio apparently is the first presidential candidate to take a stand against AFFH. For this he deserves credit. As Stanley Kurtz says, “It’s good to see that Rubio is balancing his growing interest in ‘reform conservative’ ideas for opening up opportunities to the less-well-off with full-throated opposition to Obama’s government overreach.”
It will be interesting to see whether additional GOP presidential contenders take on AFFH. Of particular note will be the stance (or lack of one) of candidates like Jeb Bush who associate themselves with reform conservatism.
What are the prospects for defunding AFFH? It seems like a long-shot. However, Kurtz writes:
It’s not impossible that Republicans in Congress might succeed in defunding or repealing AFFH. Much depends on the precise form in which funding for HUD is passed, as a separate bill or as part of a massive omnibus spending bill. Obama has his veto power, but it’s conceivable that he will receive an AFFH defund amendment in a larger bill that he finds difficult to veto.
The conservative public should not be bystanders in this process. We should make known our strong views about this astounding federal power grab by contacting our Senators and Representatives.
Our vocal opposition will influence the extent to which the Republican leadership in Congress fights to keep defunding amendments in a final bill. And our level of interest will influence the extent to which Republican presidential contenders treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves.
The more vigorously Republican contenders push against AFFH, the greater the pressure will be for Hillary Clinton to talk about the issue, which has landed, literally, at the gated entrance of her home.
JOHN adds: So the administrative state has now reached the point where the President’s minions can tell Americans where to live, and direct local communities as to how they spend their money, and Congress’s only role is to veto the regulation if it can muster a two-thirds majority in both houses. The Constitution really is a dead letter.