Rep. Joseph Fisher (D-Va.) has introduced a bill this week to include Arlington among the localities eligible for automatic grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development programs.
Currently, Arlington can compete for only a limited amount of grant money because it does not meet the 200,000 population criteria for automatic funding from HUD under the Housing and Community Development Act.
Fisher said additional funds are needed for this program as well as for a comprehensive rehabilitation code enforcement program "to stabilize other neighborhoods where some deterioration is already evident."
Fisher's bill would amend the Housing and Community Development Act by adding a density factor to the population criteria. Since Arlington has approximately 157,000 persons within its 25 square miles, Fisher's bill would make a density of at least 5,000 people per square mile another measure for entitling a locality for funding.
According to staff aides to Rep. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), the congressman's Washington office has become a sounding board for disillusioned constituents for Herb Harris (D-Va.)
Following Grassley's appearance on "Panorama," a daily news and talk television show, in which he expressed his opposition to the automatic congressional pay raise. Grassley's office received "about 20 or 30 calls" from Harris' constituents claiming they were upset with Harris' stand on the issue.
"Well, you should count how many calls I've gotten from Grassley's constituents in Iowa who are upset because he's done nothing about the natural gas shortage," Harris said when asked to comment.
While Grassley is unconditionally opposed to any form of congressional pay raise. Harris believes there should only be a freeze on salaries "until strong comprehensive ethics are enacted."
NOTES: Rep. Joseph Fisher's Vienna Town Meeting that was cancelled because of weather has been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 24 at the James Madison School, 2500 James Madison Dr.