How You Can Stop Obamazone

by Stanley Kurtz

President Obama’s transformative assault on the political and economic independence of America’s suburbs—and indeed all local government in America–can be stopped. I’ve written about the massive federal overreach of Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation here and here. Conservative opinion has been alive with outrage over AFFH for a month now. If the Republicans in Congress can’t stand up and take action to stop Obama’s de facto nationalization of local government in America, what are they there for?

There is much that Congress can do, and much that you can do to make sure Congress acts.

First, Congress needs to hold hearings on AFFH. The mainstream press has been straining to avoid AFFH. Let’s see if we can give them a story they’ll find hard to ignore. HUD Secretary Julian Castro needs to be called to answer questions before Congress on AFFH.

Second, Arizona Congressman Paul Gosar has introduced a stand-alone bill called the Local Zoning and Property Rights Protection Act of 2015, H.R. 1995. This bill not only cancels AFFH and its intrusive and controlling “Assessment Tool,” it instructs HUD Secretary Castro to consult with local officials across the country on how to further the objective of fair housing, without new regulations.

The House has already passed Rep. Gosar’s amendment to the Transportation Housing and Urban Development Bill defunding AFFH. Yet the fate of the THUD bill remains in doubt. It may be considered by the Senate as separate legislation, or it may ultimately be bundled into another big Omnibus bill.

Last year Utah Senator Mike Lee championed a Senate counterpart to the Gosar amendment, and it is anticipated that Lee will continue leading the charge to defund AFFH in the months ahead.

Right now, however, the Republican leadership in the House and Senate needs to get the message that the public cares about AFFH. Public support for a legislative hearing on AFFH, and for the stand-alone Gosar bill to cancel AFFH, would go a long way toward pressing the leadership of both the House and the Senate to fight to defund AFFH.

So to cut to the chase, if you want to stop AFFH, you need to contact your representatives in Congress and call on them to hold public hearings on AFFH and to support H.R. 1995, the Gosar Bill to eliminate President Obama’s intrusive regulation on Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing.

— Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He can be reached at [email protected]

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