I would like to begin by thanking Senator Mack for his tireless efforts on this important issue. I have long been a believer that we must "reinvent" our housing programs. HUD has been listed as a high-risk agency by the General Accounting Office since January of 1994. While HUD has made some limited progress in addressing its problems, I believe this legislation will help speed up the reform process.
It is important that we bring some consistency to HUD rules and regulations and free up our public housing authorities to more flexibly administer public housing programs and federal tax dollars. This legislation helps remove the disincentives for residents to work or seek higher paying jobs. This is common sense legislation.
The federal government does not exist to do the work of the local communities. We have been given a mandate from our constituents to move the decisionmaking away from Washington and closer to home. I believe this legislation moves in the right direction.
No one should think that our work is done. There needs to be more reforms that follow our actions on this bill. Again, I thank Chairman Mack for his leadership on this issue and would like to be added as a cosponsor at this time.
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