The House and Senate expected to come to terms on a “clean” continuing resolution by Sept. 26 to keep the government running past the Oct. 1 start of the new fiscal year.
Congressional leaders want to finalize a CR that will cover government spending at current levels at least past November’s election, so the chambers can adjourn and both sides can send their members back to their home districts and states to campaign.
House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) says that a continuing resolution is being perfected.
“This will be a clean continuing resolution,” Rogers says. “We’re trying our best to keep this bill as clean as we can, because we want to avoid a shutdown.”
Rogers predicts the measure will pass, but says a final decision on the length of the continuing resolution hasn’t been made.
The House has approved several FY 2015 appropriations measures, including the defense, energy and water and financial services funding bills. The Senate Appropriations Committee, on the other hand, has approved a few bills including the defense and homeland security measures, but partisan bickering has prevented full chamber approval.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Barbra Mikulski (D-MD) has stated she would like to move this month some kind of omnibus measure, which would combine all or a portion of the appropriations bills into one vehicle. The Sept. 23 deadline touted by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), however, douses any chances of this occurring.
Children’s funds may be included
The eventual continuing resolution likely won’t be completely clean, with a few pressing fund concerns to be addressed. For instance, the chambers need to address whether to include extra funding for the surge of child migrants crossing the U.S. border from Mexico.
The jury may still be out on additional funding for migrant children, but an FY 2015 solicitation has already been released to address the issue. The new program, administered by Admin. for Children and Families (HHS), is being funded with FY 2014 funding.
Early Head Start Expansion and Migrant and Seasonal Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships (CFDA Number: 93.600) (Funding Opportunity Number: HHS-2015-ACF-OHS-HM-R12-0826). It will expand access to high-quality, comprehensive services for low-income, migrant and seasonal infants and toddlers and their families through EHS-CC partnerships, or through the expansion of EHS services. Applications for $21.4 million in funding are due Oct. 6, with state and local governments, public and private colleges and universities, nonprofits and for-profits eligible to apply.
Applicants will base their proposals on community, county or state-based strategic planning and a community assessment. The assessment will identify needs and determine the quality of existing child care providers and existing resources that can be leveraged to ensure quality services within a proposed service area impacted by migrant and seasonal workers. Those with questions can contact Shawna Pinckney, 866/796-1591; e-mail, OHS@headstartgrants.org.
Grant Advisors’ Analysis: Unlike last year, a government shutdown isn’t looming. In fact, nobody is really considering the option, thus agencies aren’t holding back on releasing FY 2015 solicitations. As the migrant child care solicitation shows, several agencies have already started FY 2015 competitions. The passage of a continuing resolution should expedite the activity even more.