There was little change in the appropriations status last week. Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WS) has now made clear in several comments that he does not have the votes to pass a budget resolution so far this year. He tried a closed door meeting on Thursday with some comments from participants that they were making progress but it is unclear what that means if anything.
Most immediately it means any floor debate in the House will have to wait until at least May 15. The Senate does not have such limitations because of different rules so they are continuing to move along in Committee.
The Senate has released its 302(b) allocations which divides total spending between the 12 subcommittees. The House however, has simply moved one bill at a time without outlining what will be allowed for each subcommittee. That strategy portends for a very bad outcome for Labor-HHS-Education spending. If the House Committee deals with Labor-HHS last, as is likely, any increased allocation would likely be used for the other 11 bills.
On April 21, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bill for Commerce-Justice-Science (CJS). Advocates were pleased with the funding levels for juvenile justice programs. Totals for JJ programs is $272 with proposed increases in the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (JJDPA), Title II State Formula Grant and Title V Local Delinquency Prevention programs. The Senate Committee approved a $5 million increase for Title II from $58 million in FY ’16 to $63 million for FY ’17 and an increase of nearly $10 million for Title V from $17.5 million in FY ’16 to $27.5 million in FY ’17. Title II provides grants to states for diversion and alternative programs for juveniles while Title V is a community based prevention program that targets youth through a variety of initiatives such as after-school, mentoring and gang and substance abuse prevention strategies.
The Senate bill did not reinstate funding for the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant (JABG) program despite support from the Administration and the advocacy community. JABG supports state efforts to strengthen juvenile court services, such as behavioral health screening and assessment for court-involved youth and alternatives to detention.
So far the Senate Appropriations Committee or Subcommittee has voted out CJS (S 2837), the Energy and Water Bill (S 2804), the Military Construction Appropriation (S 2806) and Transportation-Housing (S 2804) while the House Appropriations Committee has pushed out Energy and Water (HR 2028), and Military Construction (HR 4907).