Policy Priorities

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Budget Watch: This week...

March 2, 2011

This week… A tentative agreement has been reached between House and Senate leaders to extend government funding for another two weeks, through March 18, with $4 billion in cuts that have yet to be debated. The House began debate on Tuesday and passed the temporary Continuing Resolution (CR) late in the day to overt a government shutdown. The bill now goes to the Senate where it is expected to pass. The House has already passed an FY 2011 appropriations bill that makes an unprecedented $66 billion in cuts to federal programs such as Head Start, Child Care and Development Block Grant, and the Title I education program for disadvantaged children between now and September 30, 2011. Once the new temporary CR has been signed, the Senate will debate its own FY 2011 appropriations bill for this period.

We also wanted to share a new report just released from the Coalition on Human Needs. Their report highlights how millions would suffer under the House-passed FY2011 appropriations bill, which would disproportionately hurt the most vulnerable. Specifically, under the House bill:

  • 218,000 young children would not be able to receive Head Start services;
  • 11 million patients would lose health care they would have received at Community Health Centers over the next year, with 3.2 million losing care in the next few months; 127 health center sites would have to close and 7,434 jobs would be lost;
  • 20 million low-income people, including 5 million children, 2.3 million seniors, and 1.7 million people with disabilities, would have access to anti-poverty services disrupted;
  • 9.4 million low-income college students would lose some or all of their Pell Grants;
  • More than 8 million adults and youth would lose job training and other employment services. Job training under the Workforce Investment Act would essentially be shut down until July 2012;
  • 81,000 low-income people, mostly seniors and some children, will no longer receive food packages and six states would not be able to join the program after being approved to do so;
  • 1.2 million poor households in public housing (two-thirds of whom are elderly or have a disability) would see maintenance and repairs on their apartments deteriorate due to cuts in the Public Housing Capital Fund;
  • 10,000 people with significant long-term disabilities would lose their rental assistance; most of these would lose their homes.

To view the report, go to: http://www.chn.org/pdf/2011/BetterBudget4AllReport.pdf

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