Appropriations Discussions Ongoing and Uncertain

Appropriations staffers and committee members continued to work toward beating a December 11 deadline when the government will run out of money. Despite the ongoing work it is unclear whether or not issues around policy riders and, as of last week the issue of Syrian refugees, will prevent a deal before the government shuts down.

Earlier this month the 12 […]

GAO Issues Report On 8 States And Residential Care

On November 9, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a report they had provided to the Senate Finance committee in October. The report: HHS Could Do More to Support States’ Efforts to Keep Children in Family-Based Care examined eight states including Washington, Kansas, New Jersey, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Connecticut and Colorado by interviewing 41 stakeholders made up of state […]

Reconciliation Bill To Repeal ACA, Planned Parenthood Slows Down

The Senate is struggling to move a reconciliation bill that would repeal parts of the ACA and cut-off federal funds to Planned Parenthood. Last month the House of Representatives passed a reconciliation measure based on an instruction included in the spring budget resolution. The legislation is political message bill that will certainly be vetoed by President Obama. The legislation […]

Kane Introduces Housing-Child Welfare Bill

On November 17, Senator Tom Kane (D-VA) introduced S 2289, the Family Unification, Preservation and Modernization Act, a bill that would extend the Family Unification Program or “FUP.”   The 1990, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program provides housing vouchers to families involved with the child welfare system.  In 2000, Congress extended this program to youth aging out […]

Conferees One Step Closer On ESEA Reauthorization

Lawmakers last Thursday took a significant step toward approving a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) when a Conference Committee made up of Senate HELP Committee members and more than a sampling of House Education and Workforce members approved a deal. The vote was approved by a margin of 39-1. The bicameral, bipartisan compromise measure would […]

Congress Passes Budget and Debt Deal

Shortly after Republicans approved Ryan as the Speaker, the House approved the negotiated budget deal by a vote of 266 to 167 with 187 Democrats and 79 Republicans supporting it. It was immediately sent over to the Senate using a previous bill that allowed Senate leaders to fast track the debate on the deal. Early on Friday morning the […]

Appropriations and Other Clean Up Issues Left

The Appropriations Committees are now working on a legislative omnibus spending bill for this year with new subcommittee allocations, known as 302(b)s. Policy riders could come up during this process. While this set higher caps for FY 2017 which at least avoids a spring-summer-fall debate over spending caps, it is unclear how appropriations riders including restrictions on Planned Parenthood […]

Votes On Ryan, Debt Ceiling Likely This Week

The Republican House Caucus is expected to vote on the selection of the next Speaker of the House on Wednesday with Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WS) the likely winner. Shortly after that they will be confronted with a possible vote on raising the debt ceiling.  Ryan announced his intention to run in the middle of last week when he was […]

New Adoption-Kinship Incentives Show 25 State Winners

More complete data released by HHS in the awarding of the adoption and kinship incentives for the Adoption and Legal Guardianship Incentive Payments Program shows that the new structure and new rate formula benefited at least 25 of the states. The awards discussed here last week are based on a phased-in formula that awarded states 50% based on the […]

Debt Ceiling Closer, No Action in House Leadership Race

The date of November 3 as the point in which we will reach the debt ceiling was confirmed last week by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). The confirmation refutes some criticism that the Administration was playing with the date to increase pressure on Congress. The actual date is is November 3 but some actions could stretch that crisis point […]