716.651.0465 | Airport Commerce Park | 303 Cayuga Rd., Suite 180 | Cheektowaga, NY 14225

Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Literacy New York Provides Update on the Status of U.S. Adult Literacy Funding

Mon, Aug 7th 2017 03:00 pm
Part of this is developing strong relationships with elected officials. Here is the most recent Government Relations Update:
The full House Appropriations Committee completed its consideration of the FY 2018 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill. It reported the bill to the House without making significant changes to the bill approved earlier this week by the subcommittee. The bill was approved on a party-line vote. It is possible that the full House will vote on the bill in September after the House returns to Washington from its August recess.
Several points of note:
  • Adult education funds were not cut but remain frozen at the FY 2017 level. We attribute this to the more than 15,000 legislative contacts that have been made as a part of our ongoing advocacy work. We encourage every person to do their part contacting their legislators and staff via the "Rapid Response" tool (Here).
  • While Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole (OK) opposed virtually all amendments, he reiterated his position that he was open to revisiting issues if more money became available. This was the position he took, for example, on cuts to job training funds in Title I of WIOA that remain in the bill. He reiterated his position that he hoped the funds that had been allocated to his subcommittee would eventually be increased and that the funds available to him represented "an initial allocation." It should be noted that COABE and NCSDAE have written a letter to Chairman Tom Cole (Here).
  • Those who watched the mark up, which ran for almost 12 hours, heard subcommittee ranking member Rosa DeLauro (CT) refer to "$5 billion left on the table." She was saying that the House Appropriations Committee chose to cap nondefense discretionary spending at $5 billion below the level set in law for FY 2018. As a result, the full Committee reduced the amount of funds available for Labor-HHS-Education programs by $5 billion.
  • Today, the full Senate Appropriations Committee revealed that it was increasing the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee's allocation by $3 billion over the FY 2017 level. We do know that the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee will have $8 billion more to spend than its House counterpart.
The fact remains that there will be a great deal of competition for these funds when the Senate Committee meets in September after members return from the August recess.
The next steps in the process should be as follows:
  • The House votes on the Labor-HHS-Education bill.
  • The Senate Subcommittee and full Committee consider the Senate version of the Labor-HHS bill.
  • Bills pass each House, are "conferenced," and differences between the two bills are resolved.
  • The President signs the Labor-HHS-Education bill agreed to by both Houses.
Much can happen between now and the end of the fiscal year.  For example:
  • Neither bill can pass its House because Conservatives believe they spend too much and Liberals believe they spend too little.
  • Contentious legislative issues called "riders" derail consideration of the bills.
  • Time runs out and Congress must adopt a continuing resolution to keep the government functioning.
  • There is a budget agreement that funds the nondefense discretionary part of the budget, and the bills are significantly rewritten to provide more funds.
  • The President can veto the Labor-HHS-Education bill because it doesn't contain enough of his priority initiatives.
  • Or, some combination of all of the above may take place.
In any event, September will be a busy month, and it is in all of our best interest to continue to reach out to legislators and their staff so that they are aware of the importance and value of adult education. 
About Educate & Elevate:
The system of 55,000+ adult education leaders stands united in a national campaign to educate policy makers about the importance of investing in adult education and moving opportunities forward for all Americans to achieve economic mobility. http://educateandelevate.org/ 

comments powered by Disqus