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February 18, 2005
Action Needed--No Caps On Kids!
Now that the President's FY 2006 budget proposal has been released, Congress is poised to take the next steps. Your U.S. Representative and Senators are in their home states next week during the President's Holiday District Work Period, February 21-25. This is a good opportunity to call or visit them to express your concerns about a potential cap on the Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption program.**
- Meet with or call your U.S. Representative and Senators while they are at home during the President's Holiday District Work Period, February 21-25. This is a good opportunity to call or visit your members of Congress. During that time, many members of Congress conduct open meetings or town halls to hear from constituents.
- You can also call your members of Congress in Washington, DC by calling the U.S. Capitol switchboard at 202-225-3121.
- Tell your U.S. Representative and Senators that there should be "No Caps on Kids" in the federal budget! Oppose any cap or block grant on Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption in the budget.
During the week of March 7, the House and Senate Budget Committees are expected to vote on a FY 2006 budget resolution. Both the House and Senate will then vote on their own versions of a budget resolution during the week of March 14. A Senate-House conference committee will then meet to resolve any differences. Both the Senate and House will then vote on a final budget resolution in early April.
This annual budget resolution serves as a blueprint that sets limits on total federal spending. To meet the reduced federal spending targets outlined in the President's budget proposal, Congress is expected to use this budget resolution process to issue budget reconciliation directions to various congressional committees to cut entitlement programs. Caps on Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption spending are being considered as a possible source for these savings, in addition to cuts in other critical programs such as Medicaid, nutrition, and housing. A proposal to cap Title IV-E was included in the President's FY 2006 budget proposal.
If the FY 2006 budget reconciliation process results in cuts to programs and services for children in the child welfare system, there will be no opportunity for debate and passage of the significant improvements and reforms that are needed.
For more information contact Liz Meitner, CWLA Vice-President of Government Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-942-0257.
**Title IV-E Foster Care and Adoption assistance is currently an entitlement program, which means that it is available to anyone who meets the program's strict eligibility criteria. The federal government reimburses each state for a percentage of the overall cost of the program. A cap or block grant of Title IV-E funding would reduce the federal government's commitment to share the costs of the caring for these abused and neglected children. The amount of money a state would receive from the federal government would be fixed, regardless of a state's expenses.
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