RSVP Budget and Appropriations Update:
On Thursday, December 11 the House of Representatives narrowly passed the FY 2015 omnibus Appropriations bill by a vote of 219-206. On Saturday night, December 13, the Senate joined the House in passing the bill (56-40). The President signed the bill into law on December 16.
Up until the votes, the bill had been described as bi-partisan and bi-cameral. The era of good feeling proved to be surprisingly (or perhaps, not so surprisingly) short lived.
The bill provoked intense opposition over so-called riders which are legislative provisions that are attached to money bills. While many such provisions were ultimately excluded from the final bill, two particularly controversial ones concerning financial services and campaign finance remained in the package.
Colloquially known as the Cromnibus Appropriations bill, this bill funds the entire government, except for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for the remainder of the fiscal year. The portion of the bill that funds DHS expires on February 27, 2015. The new Congress is in the process of revisiting DHS ensuring a debate over the Presidents immigration policy.
The bill provides 1.014 trillion in discretionary spending for the entire government. Overall the package includes $1.055B for CNCS, a $5M increase over FY14.
The bill funds each of the Senior Corps programs at no less than the FY 2014 level. The agreement rejects the Administration proposal to restructure Corps programs, a victory for NARSVPD and RSVP volunteers.
Most CNCS programs are level funded at last years levels. The increases are:
State Commissions: +$1M
CNCS Salaries and Expenses: +$1M
National Service Trust: +$2.25M
Day of Service Activities: +$500K