The Senate gave an ok to HR 4378, a Continuing Resolution (CR) to provide funding for FY 2020 from October 1 through November 21, 2019. Both Houses will be off for the next two weeks for the combination of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur and Columbus Day. It is hoped that the additional time will allow them to negotiate a final deal on all 12 appropriations bills.

How well that goes could be complicated by several factors. The budget deal reached before the August break established new higher caps on defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding for both FY 2020 and FY 2021 but the new allocation does not take into account the effects of inflation or one-time expenses such as the increased cost of the census and according to a calculation by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The analysis indicates that the non-defense funds available in 2020 are $11.4 billion higher than the inflation-adjusted 2019 level, or a 1.8 percent increase. In addition, the much lower Senate allocation (vs the House allocations) indicates that funding the departments of Health and Human Services, Education, and Labor would be cut 1.5 percent below its inflation-adjusted 2019 level, a cut of $3.0 billion.”

A second factor is the impact of the President’s demand for more funding for the wall either through shifting appropriations that have already been approved (as is happening with current Military Construction Appropriations) or by simply adding in more funding through the Homeland Security Appropriations.

A third and looming factor is the House impeachment hearings. The President has suggested that the impeachment process could mean he will not agree to legislation in areas such as guns, infrastructure or prescription drugs. At the same time there were reports last week that Senate and House staff are discussing appropriations.

The Senate marker for the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations is legislation they released on September 18 that was never voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee. The Senate bill provides virtually no increases for child care, Head Start, CAPTA state grants, CB-CAP child abuse prevention funds and many other vital human services.

CWLA will be focusing on key funding increases in the House FY 2020 Labor-HHS appropriations. CAPTA state grants receive an increase to $90 million (a $5 million increase) and an historic $35 million increase for the Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (CB-CAP) to $75 million. The bill maintains the Adoption-Kinship Incentive fund at $75 million to cover the anticipated incentives.