While Congress continues to wrestle with a reconciliation package, they also must deal with the start of the fiscal year 2022 on October 1, 2021. Aside from the reconciliation, which doesn’t have an actual deadline, there is a need to provide funding for the new fiscal year by October 1. At the same time Congress needs to raise or suspend the debt limit (although that deadline is not hard) and then there is every growing need for disaster relief for floods, hurricanes, and fires,
The House acted on most appropriations bills before the August break, with the Senate holding out for spending allocations between the 12 appropriations bills. The House bundled their bills into a “minibus” appropriations. The HHS piece of the bill includes increased funding for CAPTA state grants (receiving $125 million, which is $5 million more than the Administration request), more funding for the CB-CAP ($90 million, which is $10 million more than the Administration request), a new $100 million to address racial inequity within child welfare through competitive grants; a significant increase of $9 million for the Family First Act Clearinghouse (up from $2 million) and $30 million for formula grants to states and tribal agencies to develop, enhance, or evaluate Kinship Navigator programs.
There is a discussion of bundling a continuing resolution of a few weeks and possibly into November or December, along with the debt relief measure and emergency disaster relief. It is unclear if that will happen and whether the debt ceiling would be passed in a different vehicle. For an overall chart of some key child welfare and children’s program spending levels, go here. For an early CWLA summary of the Administration request, go here.