Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are warning the Bush administration that they will "strongly oppose" new cuts in the Department of Housing and Urban Development's budget.Housing and community development programs run by HUD have not been adequately funded over the past few years and "further cuts may severely undermine their effectiveness," according to a Jan. 21 letter to President Bush. Sen. Paul Sarbanes of Maryland and eight other Democrats on the banking panel also raise concerns that the president's fiscal year 2006 budget proposal will eliminate HUD's office of community planning and development. "Further cuts to important HUD activities, or the dismantling of the agency, threaten to erode the programs that so many millions of American families use to climb the ladder of housing and economic opportunity," the Democrats say. The president's fiscal 2006 budget is scheduled for release Feb. 7.

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