Appropriations, Congressional Update

The House is attempting to wrap-up this week with the Senate in session into the first week of August. Appropriation action has stalled out and that means Congress will have less than 15 days to act to prevent a government shutdown when they return after Labor Day. It is almost certain that a continuing resolution (CR) will be enacted […]

Budget Picture Muddle: Appropriations, Reconciliation & Transportation

Last week appropriations stalled out, reconciliation remained suspended and the transportation reauthorization moved toward an uncertain possible short term extension.   The House has passed all 12 appropriations out of the Appropriation Committee but they suspended action over controversy in the Interior Department bill and amendments that would restrict the placement of the confederate flag on certain federal properties. As […]

Bipartisan Drive on Prison Reform Could Benefit JJ and Children

The growing demand to make significant reforms and changes to federal criminal justice laws gathered a powerful head of steam last week after a major effort by President Obama and a number of bipartisan congressional comments. There is a growing consensus starting with the President and including Republicans, Democrats, liberals and conservatives to address the mandatory minimums sentences and […]

Education Bill Next Crucial Step

On Thursday, July 16, the Senate approved a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secretary Education Act, S 1177 (ESEA/No Child Left behind Act) by a vote of 81 to 17 sending it on to the next phase of the process and maybe the most difficult phase. The House passed their education bill, HR 5, and approved it by a […]

Senate-House Labor-HHS Selective Cuts and Targets

While much of children’s and child welfare programs were level in funding there were some key targets and cuts.  This included the Senate elimination of the Abandoned Infants funding (zeroed out all $11 million) and both the House and Senate made severe cuts to teen pregnancy prevention. See budget chart here.

The Administration in their February budget had proposed reforms […]

Supreme Court Puts Aside Latest Challenge to Health Care Law

Last week was a historic week for the U.S. Supreme Court and on Thursday June 25, the Supreme Court issued one of its most anticipated decisions of the term with a 6 to 3 rejection of the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

The Court in King V Burwell rejected the challenge by the opponents of the ACA who […]

House and Senate Committees Pass Labor-HHS Bills

 

Last week both houses moved on an appropriations bill for the departments of HHS, Education and Labor.  The House Appropriations Committee moved the bill that had been approved by the Subcommittee a week earlier while in the Senate the Subcommittee and then the full Committee acted on their version of a bill on Tuesday and Thursday.  The House unnumbered […]

Republicans Discuss Options on ACA, CBO: Repeal Will Cost Money and Coverage

With time running out on this session’s Supreme Court term, Republican senators are discussing their options on how to react to a possible court ruling that would cut-off potentially 6.4 million people from their health insurance tax credits. At the same time the Congressional Budget Office said in an updated review that repeal of the ACA would increase the […]

House Subcommittee Moves Labor-HHS Bill

Operating under budget caps and an allocation $3 billion below 2014 funding, on Wednesday, June 17 the House Appropriations Subcommittee approved a funding bill for 2016. The bill is still in draft form until the full report is prepared for full committee deliberation.

The House draft avoids some of the controversial cuts of the recent past although it’s still de-funds […]

Appropriations Update: Labor-HHS Up This Week

The House Appropriations Subcommittee will take up a Labor-HHS appropriations bill for FY 2016 on Wednesday.  Any real debate is likely to be delayed for the full committee later in the week or month.

As of last week the House had sent six appropriations bills to the Senate:  Commerce-State-Justice (HR 2578), Energy and Water (HR 2028), Legislative Branch (HR 2250), […]