President Obama’s “Affirmative Furthering Fair Housing” (AFFH) is a stunningly ambitious attempt to force Americans to change the way they live. In essence, it seeks 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’ve written about concept here and here (among other posts).
Readers may recall that earlier this year, by a vote of 229-193, the House passed an amendment by Rep. Paul Gosar to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2016. The Gosar amendment would prevent HUD from implementing AFFH.
Thanks to its passage, there is a chance that Congress will block AFFH. Stanley Kurtz explains:
At minimum, a House-Senate conference committee will decide whether the Gosar language is to be retained in the final bill. Particularly if the Gosar Amendment becomes part of an Omnibus bill, president Obama will almost certainly be forced to sign it. This would effectively defund AFFH for the next 10 months, marking a very significant blow to one of the president’s most troubling domestic transformations.
However, it is far from clear that the Gosar language will be retained. That depends, ultimately, on how committed Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are to its retention.
That, in turn, probably depends on whether a large number voters contact their congressional representatives and urge them to insist on the Gosar language (and a similar language that Sen. Mike Lee has proposed in the Senate), while pressing the Republican leadership to retain this language in the bill.
When the Gosar amendment was pending, I urged readers to contact members of Congress and push them to support it. I understand that many did so. Now I’m urging readers to contact members once again, and especially the offices of Majority Leader McConnell and Speaker Ryan.
McConnell and Ryan are surely interested in convincing a skeptical Republican base that the GOP majorities can make a difference. As Kurtz puts it:
The GOP base is about as frustrated with its congressional leadership as can be right now. But I wonder if AFFH might be an issue on which the party as a whole can agree. The Gosar amendment passed the House with support from the vast majority of Republicans.
AFFH just may give the Republican leadership a way of beginning to re-earn the confidence of the base. The fate of one of President Obama’s most radical transformations is on the line.
These terms should provide the basis for a strong pitch to McConnell and Ryan. The Majority Leader’s office can be contacted at (202) 224-2541. The Speaker’s can be reached at 202-225-3031.