With a two-year budget deal for fiscal years 2020 and 2021 in place, Congress will need to finish the FY 2020 appropriations. The House of Representatives has passed almost all of their 12 appropriations bills while the Senate has not acted on any. With spending levels set, the Senate, possibly in conversation with the House, will now have to allocate spending between the 12 appropriations bills. That should be taking place during the August break.

The Senate will start to vote on appropriations as soon as they return in early September. The Senate may again combine the Defense Department and Labor-HHS-Education bills as they did last year. That would mean, once again that Congress could pass funding for approximately 75 percent of the budget but that also means that the remaining 25 percent will include the Homeland Security Department unfunded. That debate last fiscal year caused a partial government shutdown in the fall of 2018 and winter of this year. The budget deal does not speak to one of the President’s favorite priorities, building a wall along the Mexican border. With all the appropriations actions required before the start of FY 2020, October 1, 2019, look for a continuing resolution (CR) to be passed for at least some departments and a few weeks.

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. The big winners under ACF are child care and Head Start. Child care is increased by $2.4 billion to $7.6 billion. A number of other child and child welfare programs increased with Runaway and Homeless Youth increasing to $125 million from $102 million, Adoption Opportunities increased by $3 million to $42 million, the 21st Century Learning Centers increased to $1.3 billion –a $100 million increase and the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Education program increased by $7 million to $100 million. CWLA will be placing its highest priority on CAPTA and Adoption Incentive