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 […]

Trafficking Continues in Crossfire

Last week the Senate cast more votes to overcome a filibuster on S 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act. It ran into major problems over an abortion-related issue. That became even more complicated early last week when Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) tied a delay in a vote to confirm attorney general designee Loretta Lynch to a […]

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 […]

Senate Runs Into Roadblock on Trafficking-Justice Legislation

The Senate spent last week debating S 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act but ran into major problems. S 178 attempts to establish new funding through the use of the Crime Victims Fund to provide services to victims of all human trafficking (not limited to sex trafficking), it also creates greater law enforcement to prosecute human trafficking. […]

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).  […]

Education Vote Not Clear

The Senate HELP Committee continues its discussions of a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).  Reports are that HELP Committee Chair Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) would like a vote by April but the Senate will be out of session from March 28 through April 12 so in a best case scenario they will have to take […]

Senate Committee Examines Human Trafficking Issues

On Tuesday February 24, the Senate Judiciary Committee considered the issue of human trafficking and two bills that approach the issue beyond what was debated within child welfare in 2014 through amendments to child welfare law.
Under the hearing title, Human Trafficking in the United States: Protecting the Victim, senators focused attention on providing services, criminalizing adult sex with minors […]

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 […]