President Bush this week ordered executive branch agency heads to respond to dozens of recommendations that were issued earlier this month by the Public Interest Declassification Board, an official advisory group, regarding the declassification of historical records.
The Board’s report, “Improving Declassification” (pdf), presented 49 recommendations to increase the utility and productivity of declassification, such as establishment of a National Declassification Center, creation of a public database of declassified documents, expedited declassification of presidential records including the President’s Daily Brief, and new procedures for declassification of closed congressional hearing records and other documents.
“Please submit in writing no later than April 15, 2008… your views on each of the recommendations, including with respect to each recommendation your view of whether and to what extent it should be implemented,” President Bush told the agency heads on January 29.
The Board’s report hardly made a ripple when it was released earlier this month. And since it is purely advisory, it could easily have been ignored.
But the President’s response increases the likelihood that the Board’s recommendations will now receive serious consideration, inside and outside of the executive branch.
A supply-side tax credit (STC) could offer a tax incentive to material suppliers and professional service consultants that provide goods or services to affordable housing projects.
The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), Department of Commerce, and Department of Transportation should jointly develop and manage a data resource—a Housing Production Dashboard—to track housing production within and across states.
Exempting affordable housing from volume caps would address the underlying issue and have the greatest impact in this housing emergency.
To increase the supply of affordable homes, Congress should make greater investments in the National Housing Trust Fund (HTF).