Last week the House of Representatives approved the Defense and Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (HR 6157) by a vote of 361 to 61. The President signed the legislation on Friday afternoon. By doing that he extends funding for the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Education and Labor for the rest of the fiscal year (through September 30, 2019). It also means that all other federal departments that don’t get their own funding approved will be funded through a continuing resolution (CR) through December 7, 2018 with the lame-duck Congress left to decide the fate of Justice and Homeland Security funding and related issues on immigration.
With the approval of the appropriations there are certain successes in child welfare and human services that were agreed to in the FY 2018 appropriations (agreed to this past March): A big increase in Adoption-Kinship Incentive Fund to $75 million (from $39 million), and substantial increases in child care funding from $2.8 billion to $5.2 billion, an additional $20 million in designated child welfare-substance abuse treatment funding, $20 million for all fifty states to implement or expand kinship navigator programs which in turn should help states leverage Family First Act funds for navigator programs, and $60 million more for the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA).
The signing of HR 6157 also means that the House Aderholt amendment that would allow for discrimination in recruitment and placement of foster care and adoptive parents has been defeated for this year (more below). The Senate had more than 40 senators on record opposed to the House committee appropriations bill amendment meaning it could have brought down or stopped negotiation. Several other laws are temporarily extended until December 7, including the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and TANF.
For a chart of the final funding comparison look here.