Appropriation Update

Discussions continued between key appropriations leaders, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-TX).  Not much has been revealed but Chairperson DeLauro offered some broad positive comments about progress.  Like the reconciliation, Democratic leaders including the White House would like a final deal by March 1.

Houses Focus on Voting Rights, Appropriations

The Senate continued to debate how to address voting rights including how to deal with the Senate filibuster while the House focused some attention on the appropriations for the current fiscal year, FY 2022. Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) maneuvered to bring a version of voting rights to the floor for debate by using

The Final Rule: An Opportunity for Workforce Investment

The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivers $350 billion to state, local, and Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. These funds are meant to be used to support families and businesses struggling

Reconciliation, Voting Rights, Appropriations

Both houses of Congress return this week as the House joins the Senate in an early return.  Facing members is a list of challenges some are a carryover while Covid-19 returns in another variant. On the Build Back Better Reconciliation, the House will have to wait on Senate action and that does not seem likely

Debt Ceiling Deal, Reconciliation Christmas?

Last Tuesday, December 7, 2021, congressional leaders came to an agreement on how to raise the federal debt ceiling that should be adopted and finalized this week.  The process is a two-step bill strategy that first allowed Congress to adopt a bill to suspend Medicare cuts along with a temporary procedure allowing the Senate to

House Passes Build Back Better Reconciliation

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act reconciliation bill (HR 5376) on Friday, November 19, 2021, after a week of waiting.  The waiting was driven by the need for a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) “score” or estimation of costs and savings. That score came back on Thursday at the expected $1.7 trillion.

The Lead Problem in Drinking Water

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide some relief for an important human service need, reducing children’s exposure to dangerous lead in our drinking water.   In the middle of the last decade, the country saw close-up the havoc lead contamination can mean to a city and more importantly the families that live there.

Access to the Internet

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will provide a great deal of help to address a need that was exposed during this pandemic, access to the internet for remote and poor areas. The pandemic has highlighted the need for Broadband technology for work, school, and health resources. Broadband technology is defined as a “high-capacity transmission

Children’s Budget Shows Some Improvements

On November 3, 2021, First Focus on Children hosted the Children’s Budget Summit to highlight the release of their 15th annual Children’s Budget Analysis. Over the last 10 years, the Children’s Budget analysis has documented federal spending for children. Typically, this means watching federal spending for children be cut at a high rate. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic caused devastation across the world, Congress was compelled to make investments in early childhood, child care, education, family

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