Despite Congress’s return this past week, the fate of the FY 2020 budget is no clearer. With FY 2020 appropriations expiring on November 21, reports in Washington media outlets, including the Washington Post, indicate that the President has drawn a line in the sand over his desire to have more funding for the Mexico-U.S. border wall. As a result, there has been very limited discussion over setting “top-line” appropriations levels for the 12 appropriations bills, including the always contentious Labor-HHS-Education bill.
There is a vast difference between the House levels and the Senate levels, especially Labor-HHS-Education. CWLA has been focusing a great deal of attention on retaining the small but important increases in CAPTA funding provided by the House this past spring.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) may attempt some votes on larger packages this week, but that is unlikely to result in any significant movement. Internally, more people on Capitol Hill are expecting a second continuing resolution (CR) that would likely run past Thanksgiving to the end of the year holidays. If there is no agreement with the President, there is some limited speculation that there may have to be a CR that would cover the entire year. That would mean funding levels at the 2019 appropriations. Further complicating matters is the possibility of the Senate holding an impeachment trial before the end of the year. It was widely reported that Senator McConnell discussed this process at the Republican weekly luncheon. In the meantime, CWLA continues its effort to increase CAPTA funding.