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The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Adler

Says Jon Runyan voted to "end programs to aid homeless veterans."

Shelley Adler on Friday, May 4th, 2012 in an interview on NJTV’s “On the Record”

Shelley Adler claims Jon Runyan voted to end programs for homeless veterans

A Democrat hoping to oust U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan recently criticized the Republican congressman’s record on supporting homeless veterans.

Shelley Adler is vying for Runyan’s seat representing New Jersey’s third congressional district, which includes Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst. During an interview on NJTV’s "On the Record" that aired May 4 host Michael Aron asked Adler how her opponent let veterans down if he’s lauded for his representation of that military base.

Adler said two issues were at play: active-duty military personnel and veterans.

"With respect to veterans who are no longer active duty, they are out of service, we owe much more of a duty to the veterans of our country than we have been showing at all. And I think the disrespect by voting to end programs to aid homeless veterans particularly when that population is increasing," Adler said, before Aron jumped in to ask her whether she was referring to U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.)’s budget proposal.

She wasn’t. Adler’s campaign spokesman Michael Muller pointed to a budget appropriations bill passed by the Republican-controlled House on Feb. 19, 2011 to back Adler’s claim.

Runyan as well as 234 of his fellow Republicans voted for that bill, which did not fund 10,000 new housing vouchers for homeless veterans. But the bill continued funding for roughly 30,000 vouchers issued in previous years.

The vouchers, which help homeless veterans by subsidizing a portion of their rent, are part of a program run by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Each year from 2008 to 2010, Congress approved $75 million in funding for approximately 10,000 new vouchers for the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, or HUD-VASH. Funding for existing vouchers is renewed every year.

The GOP bill in 2011 had no impact on the existing vouchers, according to Donna White, a HUD spokeswoman. "Any future funding would be on the line," White said, but "existing funding would be protected."

And ultimately, Congress funded new vouchers that year.

A compromise bill provided $50 million, instead of $75 million, in funding for vouchers for the fiscal year. Runyan voted for that bill, which the president signed into law.

Muller, Adler’s campaign spokesman, said, "this is still a case that Runyan voted to defund the program with no guarantee that a compromise would bail out his bad vote based on these facts."

A Runyan spokesman pointed out that the congressman also voted for an additional $75 million for vouchers in fiscal 2012, which PolitiFact New Jersey confirmed.

It’s also worth noting that during the 2011 debate Republicans argued the program had unused vouchers that should be issued before the government funded new ones.

Some Democrats disagreed.

FactCheck.org, a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania, looked at two claims in the wake of the vote: a Democratic claim that the GOP bill would leave 10,000 homeless veterans out on the streets and a Republican claim that 11,000 vouchers were "waiting" to be used.  

The fact-checking group found in April 2011 that neither claim was accurate.

At that time, the program had about 2,400 unclaimed vouchers, enough, FactCheck.org found, to make it through the rest of the fiscal year, which ended on Sept. 30, 2011.

Our ruling

In a television interview, Adler said her opponent voted to "end programs to aid homeless veterans."

Runyan voted for a bill that did not include funding for 10,000 new housing vouchers for homeless veterans. The bill would have had no impact on existing vouchers.

The bill wouldn’t have expanded the program, but it wouldn’t have ended it. And Runyan ultimately voted for another bill, which became law, that included funding for new vouchers.

We rate Adler's statement False.

To comment on this ruling, go to NJ.com.

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About this statement:

Published: Thursday, May 24th, 2012 at 7:30 a.m.

Subjects: Veterans, Voting Record

Sources:

NJTV, "On the Record," May 4, 2012

Interviews by phone and e-mail with Michael Muller, campaign spokesman for the Shelley Adler, May 16 & 17, 2012

Interviews by phone and e-mail with Donna White, spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, May 16 & 21, 2012

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, House Cuts 10,000 New Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans in FY 2011, March 1, 2011

Interview with Mark Walker, deputy director of the economic division at The American Legion, May 21, 2012

E-mail interview with Kate Seif, assistant to the president for National Alliance to End Homelessness, May 21, 2012

E-mail interview with Andrew Fasoli, spokesman for U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, May 21, 2012

HUD.gov, HUD-VASH Vouchers, accessed May 16, 2012

House.gov, Final Vote Results for Roll Call 147, Feb. 19, 2011

FactCheck.org, Dems, GOP Fight Over Homeless Vets, April 8, 2011

PolitiFact.com, Expand housing vouchers program for homeless veterans, updated Nov. 3, 2011

The American Legion, HUD-VASH vouchers survive budget cut, April 13, 2011

Shelley Adler for Congress, Shelley Adler Formally Announces Campaign for Congress Calling for a New Direction in Washington, March 20, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness, Alliance Online News: Congress Releases FY 2011 Budget Details, April 12, 2011

National Alliance to End Homelessness, FY 2013 Appropriations: HUD-VA Supportive Housing Vouchers, accessed May 17, 2012

National Alliance to End Homelessness, Congress Releases Final FY 2012 HUD Funding Bill, accessed May 17, 2012

The Library of Congress, Bill Summary & Status: 112th Congress (2011 - 2012): H.R.1473, accessed May 17, 2012

The Library of Congress, Bill Summary & Status: 112th Congress (2011 - 2012): H.R.2112, accessed May 17, 2012

House.gov, H.R. 1, accessed May 17, 2012

GPO.gov, H. Con. Res. 34, accessed May 17, 2012

GPO.gov, H.R. 1473, accessed May 17, 2012

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), accessed May 17, 2012

House.gov, Final Vote Results for Roll Call 268, accessed May 17, 2012

Jon Runyan for Congress, Time for Adler to Fully Explain Obamacare Position, May 7, 2012

Shelley Adler for Congress, Shelley Adler Formally Announces Campaign for Congress Calling for a New Direction in Washington, March 20, 2012

Written by: Erin O'Neill
Researched by: Erin O'Neill
Edited by: Caryn Shinske

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