As part of the 2019 budget process, the Senate Appropriations Committee, which decides how much funding federal programs will receive, unanimously agreed to send the 12 bills that would fund all federal agencies for a vote to the whole Senate later this summer. This is in contrast to the House, which voted on different funding levels along party lines. Of interest to I/DD providers, the Senate HELP Committee funding bill (the committee that funds, among others, the Administration on Community Living and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services) includes a total of $179.3 billion for the agencies covered, while the House Labor-Health and Human Services Committee (the House’s corollary to the Senate’s HELP Committee) allocated $171.1 billion.
If these differences persist when the House and Senate hold their budget votes, they will have to reconcile these differences unless one side decides to accept the other’s proposal in order to move on to other priority issues. Passing appropriations bills is part of “regular order,” but advocates should note that regular order is so rare that Congress has completed all of its appropriations work on time just four times (FY77, FY89, FY95 and FY97). ANCOR will continue keeping you updated on the budget process and its implications for I/DD supports and services.
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