HHS Releases 2011 and 2012 Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) Reports

 

Last week the office of Community Services released two new annual reports on the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG).  The 2011 and 2012 reports show similar results as the 2010 report and reaffirms how the $1.7 billion in funding continues to support a range of child welfare services—especially as a prime funder of child protection.  In addition it continues […]

President Announces Child Care Initiative To Build On Child Care Credit

On Thursday, January 22, the President’ released a child care expansion proposal to build on his support for an expanded child care tax credit first announced at the state of the Union Address on Tuesday of last week.

Under the new proposal the President would provide significant increases to the child care block grant, the CCDBG. As a result all […]

GAO : TANF Work Programs Effective But Limited By Funds & Incentives

 The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report, TANF Action Is Needed to Better Promote Employment-Focused Approaches that concludes there are effective strategies to move adults from public assistance (TANF) to work but that the current law and funding are limiting the use of these strategies by states.

The GAO looked at ten programs, nine which partner with other […]

Congress Returns

The 114th Congress began last week formalizing the leadership choices and committee assignments and setting in motion some early legislative actions in both houses.  This week the Senate is expected to begin debate on an approval of the Keystone pipeline.  The debate is expected to take up to two weeks.  On the House side members are expected to take […]

114th Congress Starts This Week

The new 114th Congress will begin this week on Tuesday.  Most of the week will be about conducting the formal start up actions.  That start up includes the selection of the various leaders, all returning from the last Congress with the Senate leaders swapping their majority/minority roles.  We will also see the formal selection of committee assignments with little […]

Congress Finishes With Tight Appropriations Vote

After the House of Representatives narrowly passed HR 83 by a vote of 219 to 206 late on Thursday night December 11, the Senate acted late Saturday to approve the legislation (HR 83).  The package represents one of the last acts by a Congress that has been rated by some critics as one of the least productive in many […]

Congress Still Deliberating Budget Action

With the clock ticking toward the expiration of FY 2015 funding (December 11), Congress ended the week with an uncertain strategy toward an extension in funding. There seemed to be agreement on not shutting the government down but how that would be avoided is still not clear or final.

House Republicans, largely leading the strategy, have proposed to their own […]

Funding to Address Unaccompanied Minors Crisis May Wait Until Fall Session

Congress will likely make this week their last week before they leave for the August break and that will happen regardless of the unaccompanied minor issue. Going into this week there are three general proposals: the President’s, the Senate’s and the House’s. It seems certain that none of them can garner enough votes to get through both houses and […]

Two Tracks For Congressional Funding to Address Unaccompanied Minors

By the end of last week, July 18, Congress’s path forward to address the issue of the surge of unaccompanied minors across the US boarder was becoming less clear with each house pursuing different approaches. The President has requested $3.7 billion in emergency funding mainly for services both legal and humanitarian with the bulk of funding for HHS and […]

Unaccompanied Minor Debate Ignores International Trafficking Issues

The debate over the increase in unaccompanied minors coming across the border has been largely focused on an argument of whether the President’s past policies have attracted these children to come from the three countries of Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala or whether changes made to the TVPA in 2008 have resulted in the increases migration. New protections were […]