‘Hey Law, now you’re a HUD regulation!’
By Lisa Vercauteren, Vice President of Housing Programs
If you grew up with me in the 1970s, you spent many Saturday mornings singing along to the Schoolhouse Rock videos on TV. These short cartoon videos always had a catchy song that taught kids something educational in an entertaining way. One of my favorites was, "I'm just a Bill." In this video, you met a scroll of paper called Bill who sang a song about how he came to be, first as as an idea written up by a local representative, then debated in committee, then turned into a bill that was voted on by both the House and Senate, and then, if he was lucky, signed into law by the President. The final line of the song stated, "He signed you Bill, now you're a Law." It was a great way to teach kids like me the inner workings of government.
What Schoolhouse Rock failed to cover is what happens next. This is the question I get asked most often in our classes these days in conjunction with legislation that impacts our federal housing programs.
The truth is once a law is passed, it doesn't get implemented right away. Each government agency impacted by the law must engage in a process called formal rulemaking in which the new law is studied and interpreted by the agency, which then proposes additions and/or changes to existing rules that are published in the Federal Register ...