Wyden To Introduce Child Welfare Bill, Finance Holds Tuesday Hearing

The Senate Finance Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is expected to introduce his child welfare reform proposal later this week.

The legislation, sponsored by Senator Wyden, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, is the result of an earlier draft bill the Senator had released in […]

Congress Finishes Up This Week Until Labor Day

The House departed last Wednesday, a few days early and a week before the Senate. As they left they sent the Senate a three-month extension of the transportation law as their only option on that issue. That issue, the appropriations for 2016, a debt ceiling increase and a few other must-pass items will all be front and center when […]

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 […]

Finance Moves 50 Tax Extenders

On Tuesday, July 21, the Senate Finance Committee extended a range of tax breaks. The so-called extenders are called that because they expire every few years. Some such as the Research and Development Tax Credit for businesses have been temporarily extended by Congress since the late 1990s. Others are more recent but all have in common that Congress likes […]

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 […]

Congress Returns for Sprint To August Break

Last week Congress returned for the remainder of their summer session with votes and debates on education and uncertainty on other key issues including the budget.

The Senate began what is expected to be a two week debate on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the House voted on their bill HR 5 on Wednesday night.  […]

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 […]

House Committee Taking Up TANF Reauthorization

On Wednesday the House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee will hold a hearing on reauthorization of TANF in what could be a serious effort to reauthorize the block grant. The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program was last reauthorized for a full five years in 2006 with a series of yearly and monthly extensions since it last […]

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 […]