A $60 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia — the largest in U.S. history — is poised to proceed despite questions raised by some members of Congress. In a November 16 letter to Congress (pdf), Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the deal:
“This proposed sale will directly support U.S. interests by reinforcing our longstanding defense and security partnership with Saudi Arabia, enhancing Saudi Arabia’s ability to deter and defend itself against terrorist groups and other regional threats, improving interoperability with the U.S. military, and sending a strong message to all countries that the United States is committed to supporting the security of its key partners and allies in the Gulf and broader Middle East,” they wrote.
Members of Congress had written to the Administration on November 12 (pdf) “to raise concerns and pose a number of strategic questions about the impact such sales would have on the national security interests of the United States and our allies.” The Gates-Clinton letter was written in response.
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).