The Bush administration, abandoning the conciliatory tone that marked its recent negotiations with the Senate on the same issue, has vowed to veto omnibus housing legislation that is scheduled to go to the House floor next week.
In a terse five-page statement sent yesterday from the Office of Management and Budget to the House Rules Committee, the administration criticized the bill as an expensive measure that is not targeted to aid the poor. It said the measure, sponsored by House Banking Committee Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez (D-Tex.), also lacks several of the key features that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Jack Kemp had proposed in his own housing bill.
Gonzalez said yesterday he had not seen a copy of the administration's objections but had anticipated that some elements of the measure would have to be resolved during floor debate.
White House advisers have targeted two major elements of Gonzalez's bill -- a rental production program and a housing partnership program -- for "major revision or elimination," according to the administration statement. Other objections raised by the administration included assertions that the House bill:
Exceeded the administration's fiscal 1991 budget for HUD and Agriculture Department housing programs by $6 billion.
Failed to include Kemp's proposals to stabilize the Federal Housing Administration's mortgage insurance programs.
Targeted only 20 percent of the rental production program funds to "very low" income people.
Relied too heavily on funding new construction as a way to increase the low- to moderate-income housing supply. Kemp has said that such programs benefit developers at the expense of the truly needy.