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 […]

Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act Passes Committee

On Thursday, July 23, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed a reauthorization of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA), S 1169. The bill was approved by voice vote with no objections to what has been a bipartisan effort. Its sponsorship is also bipartisan with Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) jointly introducing the bill earlier this […]

Bass Introduces Foster Youth Independence Act

On Wednesday, July 22, Congressmember Karen Bass (D-CA) introduced the Foster Youth Independence Act, HR 3160. The legislation, which has 29 cosponsors, allows states that have opted to extend foster care to 21 year olds to expand the current use of federal funds to age 23 under the under the John H. Chafee Foster Care Independence Program . The […]

Casey Introduces Bill To Fix Medicaid to 26 For Former Foster Youth

Last week Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation that will help extend Medicaid coverage to young people who aged out of foster care.

Under the Affordable Care Act if a young person leaves foster care they are eligible for continued Medicaid coverage to the age of 26. This protection applies to all former foster youth regardless of whether or not […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]