Norton Files Amendments to Allow Marijuana Use in Public Housing, Combat Aircraft Noise, and Block SEC from Entering into Lease for Headquarters
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) announced today four amendments she has filed to fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills. The House Rules Committee will consider the amendments next week.
Norton’s first amendment would prohibit the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from using its funds to enforce the prohibition on marijuana in federally assisted housing in jurisdictions where recreational marijuana is legal. The second amendment would prohibit HUD from using its funds to enforce the prohibition on medical marijuana in jurisdictions where medical marijuana is legal. Cannabis Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) are cosponsors of both amendments. Earlier this Congress, Norton reintroduced her bill to permit marijuana in federally assisted housing in jurisdictions where it is legal. Norton has also sent a letter to HUD Secretary Marcia Fudge asking her to use executive discretion to not enforce the prohibition on marijuana in federally assisted housing in jurisdictions where it is legal.
“The Department of Housing and Urban Development should not be allowed to remove people from their homes or otherwise punish them for following the marijuana laws of their jurisdictions,” Norton said. “More and more states are moving toward legalization of marijuana, especially of medical marijuana. It is time for HUD to follow the rest of the country and allow marijuana use in federally assisted housing in jurisdictions where it is legal. This should especially be the case for individuals living in jurisdictions that have legalized medical marijuana. Nobody should be evicted for following the law and the advice of their doctors.”
Norton’s third amendment would direct the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to prioritize efforts to combat airplane and helicopter noise. While the FAA and the aviation industry face many high-profile challenges, aircraft noise, which causes disruption to human health and local economies, is often overlooked. “As co-chair of the Quiet Skies Caucus, I have been leading members for many years to get the FAA to take aircraft noise seriously,” Norton said. “As a result of aircraft noise, Americans suffer from sleep disruption, exacerbation of high blood pressure and other chronic diseases, and learning loss in schools.”
Norton’s fourth amendment would prohibit the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from using its funds to enter directly into leases for a headquarters. Norton’s amendment would effectively return the SEC’s leasing authority to the General Services Administration (GSA), the federal government’s real estate arm. As a former chair and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management, Norton led oversight of the SEC’s real estate activities.
“For three decades, the SEC has consistently stumbled through leasing mistakes at great expense to taxpayers,” Norton said. “It is incredibly inefficient, wasteful, and redundant for the SEC to be involved in the nuances of real estate decisions when GSA exists for that very reason. Like other federal agencies, the SEC should continue to have input and involvement in the decision-making process, but the ultimate real estate authority should lie with GSA, where it belongs.” Earlier this Congress, Norton introduced a bill to revoke the SEC’s leasing authority and return it to GSA.