RSVP Government Relations Report

Washington is trying to accommodate to the Trump Administration. The President is acting through a spate of Executive Orders. The Senate is slowly making its way through confirmation hearings and discussing how to consider the President’s nominee for the Supreme Court. The foreign policy establishment is trying to weigh the impact of the President’s remarks on our relationships with Mexico, Australia, and Israel, among other countries. Information about the budget and other Administration policies has not been revealed. A budget of some sort is expected in mid-March. Like so much else with the new Administration, including its views of national service policy, details will be forthcoming.

But, it is definitely not business as usual in the nation’s capital!

No word on successors at CNCS.


We are awaiting more details on funding proposals. The normal process is for the President to present his budget the second week of February.

However, as you may recall, Congress passed and the President signed a Continuing Resolution for FY 2017 that is in effect until April 28. According to staff, by the beginning of March, Congress will have to decide how it wants to close the books on 2017 as it works on funding for FY 2018. Thus far, the focus has been on health-related entitlements. Staff expects the Administration to send the Hill a Budget document that provides some guidance about how it intends to proceed.

There has been a great deal of attention paid to the Heritage Foundation publication “Blueprint for Balance: A Federal Budget for 2017” because of press reports that it forms the basis for the budget the Administration will release at the end of this month. To summarize, the rumored Trump budget would include about $10 trillion or more in savings. The vast majority of these cuts would be in the non-defense portion of the budget but don’t mention CNCS. An early version of the so-called Ryan budget does eliminate CNCS.

The New York Times reported that President Trump will send Congress a budget that will seek large increases in defense spending and deep cuts in non-defense discretionary spending.

Two points to keep in mind:

1. Even if these proposals are ultimately put forth as part of the President’s budget the Congress ultimately will have to act on them.

2. Ultimate decision-making authority remains with the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. That is why we are focusing our Hill Days on the appropriators, starting with the members of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittees (See Senate Membership below).

Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee

Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), chairman

Thad Cochran (R-Miss.)

Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

Jerry Moran (R-Kan.)

Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

James Lankford (R-Okla.)

John Kennedy (R-La.)

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.)

Patty Murray (D-Wash.), ranking member

Richard Durbin (D-Ill.)

Jack Reed (D-R.I.)

Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.)

Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii)

Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.)

Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) 

Members of the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee



  • Tom Cole, Oklahoma, Chairman

  • Mike Simpson, Idaho

  • Steve Womack, Arkansas

  • Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee

  • Andy Harris, MD, Maryland

  • Martha Roby, Alabama

  • Jaime Herrera Beutler, Washington

  • John Moolenaar, Michigan


  • Rosa DeLauro, Connecticut, Ranking Member

  • Lucille Roybal-Allard, California

  • Barbara Lee, California

  • Mark Pocan, Wisconsin

  • Katherine Clark, Massachusetts

REQUEST: Now more than ever it is important to keep your Member of Congress apprised of the need, success and impact of your program. Many decisions are going to be made in the coming months and we would prefer them to be informed decisions.

Here are some things you can do:

1. From you home phone, call your Congressperson’s and Senators’ offices, identify yourself as a constituent and ask the name and contact information of the staff person who is responsible for education issues.

2. Email that person from your home email with information on a) the need (how many undereducated adults are in the district or state and how many you are able to serve, pointing out the gap; b) the success you are having with those you can reach, c) examples of the impact you are having on constituents’ lives, and d) invite the Member or staff to come visit your program.


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