House and Senate Pass Budget Resolutions, To Negotiate Differences

Last week both the House and Senate passed their budget resolutions setting up a negotiation over the spring break.  On Wednesday, March 25 the House of Representatives gave final approval to their version of a budget resolution (H. Con Res 27). The resolution passed with Republican votes only.  It passed by a vote of 228 to 199.  The passage […]

Social Services Block Grant Letter Open for More Signatures

A letter in support of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) is open for additional signatures.  The original letter in support of SSBG was sent to Capitol Hill on March 12, with over 65 national organizations signing on to a letter that asked Congress to protect the human services funding from further budget cutting.

The same letter is now open […]

Doc Fix Would Extend Home Visiting, CHIP, Medicaid TMA, Teen Pregnancy

On Thursday, March 26 the House of Representatives took up the SRG “doc fix” bill and passed it in overwhelming bipartisan fashion by a vote of 392 to 37. The legislation (HR 2), if enacted, will not only permanently replace what has become an almost annual ritual of supplanting the current provider payments through Medicare with a temporary restoration, […]

Budget Resolutions Include Block Grants and Spending Cuts

The House of Representatives started the process last Tuesday when the Budget Committee unveiled its resolution.  It includes more than $5.5 trillion in cuts over 10 years.  It would do this by converting Medicaid into a block grant to states and reducing projected funding by $913 billion over that ten year period.  It would repeal the Affordable Care Act […]

Efforts Moving Toward Fix of Doc Fix

Late last week congressional leaders from both parties announced what appear to be an agreement to eliminate the Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SRG) formula, what is commonly referred to as the “Medicare Doc Fix.”  It is expected that the legislation would also include an extension of some health related provisions included last year’s bill including an extension of the […]

Human Services Community Express Support For SSBG

On Friday, March 12, a number of groups spearheaded by the Child Welfare League of America, Generations United, the National Association of County Human Service Directors, Zero to Three, Easter Seals and the National Adult Protective Services Association, sent a letter to all members of Congress in support of the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG). The letter signed by […]

Budget Resolutions Expected This Week

The two budget committees are expected to act on a budget resolution this week. The House Budget Committee will meet on Wednesday and likely act all in one day. The Senate Budget Committee will meet on Wednesday and Thursday.

A budget resolution is supposed to be jointly approved by the House and Senate to have any real impact. It is […]

House Moves Funding Bill Next Challenge “Doc-Fix”

On Tuesday, the House, absent much debate, passed an appropriations bill that will fund the Department of Homeland Security through the rest of the fiscal year.  The action to adopt a “clean” bill—without any restrictions on the President’s executive order regarding immigration—was adopted 257 to 167 with Democrats providing the bulk of the vote (182 Democrats and 75 Republicans).  […]

Congress Returns With Budget Fight and Then FY ‘16

Congress returns this week through the end of next month.  Front and center will be the expiration of funding for the Department of Homeland Security.  Funding will expire at the end of this month if the Congress can’t come up with a deal to extend it.  The House bill would tie any funding to provisions that would overrule the […]

Why SSBG Elimination Is Not Best Option To Expand Child Welfare Funding

Some in Washington are advocating the elimination of SSBG as a way to fund child welfare services.  The theory is that eliminating the $1.7 billion in SSBG dollars might free up some funds for child welfare and perhaps also cut federal spending at the same time.  Such calculations however ignore the fact that SSBG funds a range of vital […]