Virtually the entire U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to prohibit the federal government from forcing American communities to rezone along racial and economic lines, but then turned around and declined to prohibit federal tax dollars from funding such Affirmative Action-like zoning.
The vote was prompted by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)recently introduced the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing” rule, which conditions $3 billion in annual community development block grants to cities rezoning along racial and income guidelines.
Senators voted 87 to 9 to prohibit HUD from requiring cities to conform to federal zoning preferences, but tabled a stronger bill from Utah Republican Sen. Mike Lee that would have prohibited HUD from tying federal funding to the regulation altogether.
“Americans wonder what is going wrong with the system in Washington, D.C., where senators seem more interested in playing paddy cake with President Obama and his radical agenda rather than standing up and fighting it,” Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning said in a statement.
“Senator Mike Lee breaks this stereotype with his offering of language to de-fund President Obama’s HUD regulation that allows federal bureaucrats to coerce local governments to conform to Obama’s racial and income gerrymandering zoning requirements,” Manning said.
“Unfortunately, too many of his Republican colleagues were more afraid of the race hustlers who seek to put low income high rise apartments into middle class neighborhoods, and the Lee amendment failed,” Manning continued.
Manning said the reaffirmation of current federal law prohibiting government from setting city and county zoning policies is a “possible pinpoint of light. The fact that so many Democrats voted for this amendment proves that the politics of a centrally planned zoning policy by HUD are abysmal.”
Some liberals have criticized HUD Secretary Julian Castro for not being progressive enough in his housing policy, saying that failure should remove him from consideration as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s running-mate on the 2016 Democratic presidential ticket.
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