Lummis Teams Up With Fetterman To Cut Red Tape For Federal Home Repair Money

In a rare show of bipartisanship on Capitol Hill, Wyoming Sen. Cynthia Lummis is co-sponsoring legislation with Pennsylvania Sen. John Fetterman that would establish a five-year pilot program to make it easier for homeowners to get help with critical home repairs.

Leo Wolfson

March 12, 20243 min read

U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis, left, and John Letterman
U.S. Sens. Cynthia Lummis, left, and John Letterman (Lummis Photo by Matt Idler; Letterman by Getty Images)

There is still a little bipartisanship here and there on Capitol Hill, and U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis is part of it as a co-sponsor of legislation with U.S. Sen. John Fetterman, D-Pennsylvania, that would establish a five-year pilot program to make it easier for homeowners to get help with critical home repairs.

The Whole-Home Repairs Act would allow low-and moderate-income homeowners and small landlords to apply for federal grants and loans to make needed repairs to their properties.

As a ranking member of the Subcommittee on Housing, Transportation and Community Development, Lummis frequently deals with issues involving a nationwide housing crisis that has also significantly impacted Wyoming.

She said many low-income families in Wyoming struggle when applying for existing federal home repair grants because of months-long backlogs and unnecessary red tape that make the programs impossible to navigate.

“This legislation is purely a way to cut red tape to make it easier for low-income families throughout Wyoming to access federal home repair grants,” Lummis told Cowboy State Daily on Monday.

Why It Matters

The program would be a national version of a similar program started in Pennsylvania in 2022 which, according to a Fetterman press release, homeowners from 95% of that state’s counties participated in.

“Pennsylvania’s Whole-Homes program was an incredible success,” Fetterman said in the press release. “This bill will make it so that more working families can afford repairs for their homes and help ensure money that goes out through existing programs goes further.”

Both Senators said that years of deferred maintenance — largely due to high and rising repair and utility costs — have led to many homeowners and renters being forced to live in unsafe conditions in rural and urban communities.

They said existing programs are “overly bureaucratic, inefficient and have failed to fully address the scope of these problems.”

"It is important for low-income families throughout the Cowboy State to live in homes that are livable,” Lummis told Cowboy State Daily.

“This is a very serious issue for many in Wyoming, specifically our tribal communities where 5% of tribal housing is not safe and habitable. This legislation does not create new funding, but rather makes it easier to navigate existing federal home repair grant programs," she said.

Unlikely Partnership

Lummis said to get legislation across the finish line in a Senate where Democrats hold a majority, bipartisanship is a requirement.

“For bills to advance in the Senate they need 60 votes, so it is imperative to work in a bipartisan manner to get legislation across the finish line,” she said.

Although left-leaning, Fetterman hasn’t shied away from criticizing other Democrats.

Fetterman has shown a throwback form of blue-collar liberalism, breaking with progressives on certain hot-button issues such as offering fiery support for Israel and calling for tougher immigration laws.

He also recently expressed displeasure to CNN that New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who he called a “sleazeball,” is being allowed to continue to serve in Congress despite facing an ongoing bribery scandal.

Leo Wolfson can be reached at

Share this article



Leo Wolfson

Politics and Government Reporter