Larson and Courtney Highlight Crumbling Foundations Amendments Included in Latest Government Funding Package
Today, Congressmen John Larson (CT-01) and Joe Courtney (CT-02) hailed the inclusion of two provisions to help address Connecticut’s crumbling foundations crisis in the final version of the Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.J. Res. 31), a bill to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2019. The two provisions, which Courtney and Larson advocated for throughout the appropriations process, are included in the final conference version of the spending bill, which is expected to receive consideration in both chambers of Congress later today.
“I am glad to see these amendments included in today’s funding bill. These amendments are another important step to help homeowners affected by crumbling foundations, as well as to learn the true scope of the effects that pyrrhotite is having on buildings throughout New England. I am proud to have teamed up with Joe Courtney to further federal involvement in this crisis,” said Congressman Larson.
“Congress took another important step today to help folks affected by crumbling foundations and to acknowledge this crisis on the federal,” said Congressman Courtney. “Two provisions that Congressman John Larson and I authored on this issue were included in today’s Consolidated Appropriations Act, the final conference agreement to fund the government through the end of the fiscal year. While these provisions alone will not solve the crumbling foundations crisis, the unanimous support our proposals received on the House floor in July – and their inclusion in this funding bill – provides strong backing for our ongoing efforts to pool resources on the federal level to help. I’m pleased that the bill will receive a vote today in both the House and Senate, and I urge the President to move to sign it as soon as it arrives on his desk. Moving ahead, I will continue to do all that I can to explore every avenue to identify federal resources to assist homeowners and communities facing this crisis.”
Last July, Congressman Courtney and Congressman Larson were successful in passing two related crumbling foundations amendments during the House’s consideration of several funding bills. Both of these amendments passed the House with unanimous support, and were later passed by the Senate as well. Additionally, when both the House and Senate were considering legislation in January to reopen the government amid the partial government shutdown, similar language was considered and passed in both chambers.
- The first amendment allocates $100,000 for the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a map showing pyrrhotite occurrences across the United States, an important step towards understanding the reach of the problem.
- The second amendment, which was drafted in coordination with Senator Chris Murphy (CT), would require the Comptroller General of the United States and relevant regulators, under the Department of the Treasury, to direct a study examining the financial impact of the mineral pyrrhotite in concrete home foundations. The study would be required to provide recommendations on the regulatory and legislative actions needed to help mitigate the impact on banks, mortgage lenders, homeowners, and on tax revenue.
The inclusion of both amendments in today’s conference agreement comes following a letter written by Congressman Courtney and Congressman Larson to the House Appropriations Committee in December, urging the adoption of both amendments in the final text of any year-end spending bill. The letter can be viewed here. The final inclusion of these proposals came as a direct result of advocacy from Reps. Courtney and Larson on this issue, as well as support from Senators Murphy and Blumenthal, who worked to ensure that these provisions were included in Senate appropriations bills.