This week marks the moment of truth for the effort to defund President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation — a stunningly ambitious attempt to force Americans to change the way they live. AFFH 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.
The moment of truth has arrived because this week the Republican congressional leadership will decide how hard to push to include Rep. Paul Gosar’s amendment defunding AFFH in the Transportation Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill. The House passed the Gosar amendment this spring. However, it is far from clear that the Gosar defund language will be retained. That depends on how committed Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan are to its retention.
Ken Blackwell (the former mayor of Cincinnati) and Rick Manning make the case for insisting on the Gosar amendment here. They argue that the amendment is necessary to protect the most fundamental function of local governments – to control over where and what is built in their community.
Stanley Kurtz frames the issue this way:
Who controls the zoning in your town — your local elected government or Barack Obama? Who controls decisions in your neighborhood about where schools, shopping malls, and apartment buildings are located — your local elected government or Barack Obama? Who controls whether you live in a densely packed neighborhood with real barriers to travel by automobiles, or a car-friendly bedroom suburb — you or Barack Obama? That’s what Congress is about to decide.
To maximize the chances that Congress decides correctly, I urge you to contact the offices of Speaker McConnell and Speaker Ryan immediately, while there is still time to influence their impending decision.
The moment of truth is here. Will the Republican leadership display enough backbone to stop one of Obama’s most transformative initiatives, or will it once again disappoint the base?
The Majority Leader’s office can be contacted at (202) 224-2541. The Speaker’s can be reached at 202-225-3031.