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W E E K L Y     U P D A T E      July 5, 2016
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Congress Preps for Busy Weeks before Break

Congress returns this week for a final two-week push before the summer recess. The House Labor, Health & Human Services, and Education appropriations bill is set for markup at the subcommittee level on Thursday. The House will  likely tackle the FY2017 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill that funds federal agencies like the SEC and IRS. Additionally, the d eadline for amendments to the House Interior-EPA appropriations bill is this Thursday, so it might see floor action soon. House Speaker Paul Ryan has said that his chamber will take up a Republican-proposed anti-terrorism package that seeks to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns this week. The Senate will look to move forward with several bills including: legislation creating a new national standard for foods containing GMO;, the FY2017 Defense Appropriations bill; and two bills tightening immigration enforcement laws that increase penalties for illegal immigrants who re-enter the country and require "sanctuary cities" (six of which are located in the NEMW region) to comply with federal law.

Other regionally-relevant events this week are listed below.
  • House Committee on Agriculture hearing on "Past, Present, and Future of SNAP: Evaluating Error Rates and Anti-Fraud Measures to Enhance Program Integrity," 10:00 AM, 1300 Longworth House Office Building
  • House Committee on the Budget hearing on "Alternate Approaches to Federal Budgeting," 10:00 AM, 210 Cannon House Office Building
  • House Committee on the Budget hearing on "An Introduction to Regulatory Budgeting," 9:30 AM, 210 Cannon House Office Building
For more information, contact Matthew McKenna, Director of the Great Lakes Washington Program, or Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst, at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.
HUD Announces Choice Neighborhoods Grantees

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is funding $8 million in Choice Neighborhoods Grants to ten severely distressed American neighborhoods. In order to stimulate affordable housing and economic development, these towns and cities will use the Choice grant to address the interconnected challenges of distressed housing, inadequate schools, poor health, high crime, and lack of capital. Three of the chosen neighborhoods are from the Northeast-Midwest region: $500,000 to the West Side of Asbury Park, New Jersey; $1,500,000 to DeSoto Bass of Dayton, Ohio; and $500,000 to Bedford Dwellings/Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These awards will help local leaders to craft comprehensive, homegrown plans to revitalize and transform these neighborhoods. For more information, click here. The Choice Neighborhoods Initiative is one of many federal programs that can be used to address blight; see the appendix of the Institute's recently-released report for a detailed inventory of about 24 additional programs.
For more information, contact Colleen Cain, Sr. Policy Analyst at the Northeast-Midwest Institute.

NEMWI: Strengthening the Region that Sustains the Nation