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In conjunction with the upcoming Celebrate the Power of Experience FGP, RSVP and SCP Directors Training event, NARSVPD is encouraging RSVP directors,  to schedule Capitol Hill visits with their elected officials on Wednesday, September 9, 2015.  The Celebrate the Power of Experience conference in Reston, Virginia provides us with a unique opportunity to make an impact on Capitol Hill.  


Getting from Reston, VA can be done with a hotel shuttle to the Metro station, and a 20 minute metro ride to the capitol. 


We encourage each project to bring a one page (for each member you visit) briefing on your project.  This should include a description of the impacts you and your volunteers are making back home. NARSVPD can provide you with an information sheet with national information.


If you would like help making appointments, would like an NARSVPD Board Member to go with you, or would like our Washington, D.C. representative (Gene Sofer) to go with you, please email Betty Ruth at bruth@al-rsvp.com.


NARSVPD Washington Report
Gene Sofer

This report focuses on the Congressional Budget agreement reached by House and Senate Republicans and its implications for the FY 2016 Appropriations process.


The Budget Conference Agreement


As you recall, the Congressional Budget process creates a framework for funding the government by establishing funding levels for entitlement programs (mandatory spending) and for defense and non-defense discretionary spending, and estimating the revenues the federal government will take in. It uses spending caps to enforce discretionary spending levels and the process known as "reconciliation" to enforce changes in entitlements. Remember that the Budget is divided into Functions (Education and Training is Function 500) and that the "Budgeteers" give the Appropriators an aggregate number (302 (a) allocation which they then divide into subcommittee allocations (so-called "302(b) allocations).


While the Budget Committees can recommend spending cuts in discretionary programs, they can't enforce them. Ultimately, those decisions will be made by the relevant Appropriations subcommittee, (in our case, the Labor-HHS-Education and Independent Agencies subcommittee).


In March, both Houses passed Budget Resolutions. The conference between House and Senate Committees has now been completed. The results reflect the view of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate that the budget should be balanced by spending cuts only.


For non-defense discretionary spending, the agreement maintains the FY 2016 sequester level cap, and starting in FY 2017 makes additional cuts to non-defense discretionary spending each year through FY 2025. In total the non-defense discretionary cut is $496 billion, or 9.9%.  In FY 2017, it's a cut of 5.2 percent below the sequester level cap and by FY 2015 the cut is 14 percent below the sequester level cap.


According to Bob Greenstein, President of the Center on Budget Policy and Priorities, "Starting in 2016, sequestration will cut them [non-defense discretionary spending] by an average of $37 billion a year, on top of the cuts that the BCA's [Budget Control Act] tight funding caps already impose. THE AGREEMENT SHOWS HOW FAR CONGRESS HAS STRAYED FROM A POSITIVE, PRODUCTIVE PATH. The new agreement adds another $496 billion in cuts over the coming decade -- an average of another $50 billion a year." (Emphasis added).[1]


The Conference report provides no details on what the specific cuts are to Function 500.  The Appropriators will decide on the discretionary cuts they need to make to stay under their allocation.


FY 2016 Appropriations


We get an insight into the dilemma that the Congress faces when we see the impact of the Budget process on the Labor-HHS Appropriations bill.


On Wednesday of this week the US House Appropriations Committee approved an allocation for Labor-HHS-Education programs that if implemented would result in a cut of $3.7 billion or 2.4 percent reduction in all of those programs for FY16. These figures still need full House approval. In the meantime the Senate Appropriations Subcommittees are still working on their appropriations levels.


Congress votes for funding levels in the Budget process that translate into deep cuts in the Appropriations process. But, when it comes to actually cutting programs that have constituents and supporters it becomes difficult to piece together the majorities needed to actually pass the bills.


In fact, rumor has it that the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee will not even attempt to produce an Appropriations bill at these levels. That makes a Continuing Resolution (CR) increasingly likely.


A CR would eliminate the possibility of any new money for any national service program, including RSVP.


[1] The Center is critical of the budget agreement on two counts: substance and process. For more, see Greenstein's statement at: http://www.cbpp.org/press/statements/statement-of-robert-greenstein-on-the-new-congressional-budget-agreement



NARSVPD Membership
Yes, we need your support.

Your NARSVPD dues help pay for a contracted Washington D.C. consultant who advocates on behalf of RSVP interests throughout the year. Timely legislative updates keep members aware of congressional and Washington-based developments that impact your programs.

The NARSVPD Board provides ongoing advocacy for increased and equitable federal funding and addresses all national issues that affect RSVP. The board also provides opportunities for professional development and technical assistance through workshops and training programs.


Membership information and an invoice can be found at:



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