Legislative Action Team Advisory

Monday, June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006 funding report

June 26, 2006
The Senate appropriations full committee approved its funding including almost exactly $5 billion more than the President’s requested level for Labor-HHS-Education.

FY06 FY07 President Senate FY07 allocation
$141,200 $137,798 $142,800

The L-HHS-ED appropriations subcommittee has scheduled its “mark up” for July 18 and full committee for July 20.

Budget Reform
House passed H.R. 4890, Legislative Line Item Veto Act, giving the President the authority to cancel certain discretionary, mandatory and tax expenditures subject to congressional approval within 45 days of passage.

The Senate Budget Committee approved Senator Gregg’s comprehensive budget reform bill, including a line item veto provision.

Mark up – process in a committee of analyzing a piece of legislation and making changes.

June 21, 2006

HEA Reauthorization
(Higher Education Act dealing with teacher preparation, college costs, loans, and grants.)
Both Senate and House voted to extend HEA until September 30, 2006. The Senate version of the legislation (S 1614) was approved by the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last summer but has not advanced. A HELP spokesman said Democratic and Republican staff is still negotiating the bill. Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) would like to offer amendments on the floor that would reopen debate on student loan programs, which Democrats say were cut too deeply as part of the budget-cutting law.

Perkins Reauthorization
(Career and technical education with stronger focus on academics.)
The long-stalled Perkins reauthorization bill could see action in the summer of 2006. In early June 2006, Senate and House leaders said they planned to appoint a conference committee to hash out differences between the HR 366 and S 250 within the next two weeks, a House committee chairman and congressional aides said.
Education and the Workforce Chairman Howard P. "Buck" McKeon, (R-CA) discussed the legislation on June 8 with his Senate counterpart, Michael B. Enzi, (R-WY) chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and said in an interview the next day that he expected conferees to be appointed soon.

Head Start Reauthorization
(Early education program with goal to help children from low-income families enter kindergarten ready to succeed.)
No word on timing.

Workforce Investment Act (WIA)
(WIA superseded the Job Training Partnership Act, offers range of workforce development activities through statewide and local organizations to benefit job seekers, laid off workers, youth, incumbent workers, new entrants to the workforce, veterans, persons with disabilities, and employers.)
Rumor mill has it this won’t see floor action this year.

(Approval of federal taxpayer dollars for various undertakings.)
President signed the emergency supplemental. Sen. Specter (R-PA) was the only ‘no’ vote on the emergency supplemental that had a “deeming resolution”* attached ($873 billion). He is unhappy with the funding. There is talk that an additional $5 billion will be available for L, HHS & ED on the Senate side. (The House included $4.1 Billion.) Budget authority 302 (b) allocations are expected next week.
The House budget committee approved a line item recession bill (HR 4890) 24-10. In the Senate Sen. Gregg (R-NH) is proposing budget changes in the Stop Over Spending (SOS) bill. Including:
Budget caps with across the board cuts to enforce the caps starting 2012
A commission to study entitlement growth
A sunset commission
Two-year federal budget

*(Deeming resolution [definition adapted from statement by Sen. Reid, D-NV, 6-14-06]: A deeming resolution is a mechanism for setting the total level of discretionary spending for the upcoming fiscal year, totally apart from the normal budget. It's used only when the normal budget process completely breaks down. The figure provided for the Appropriations Committee is substantially below the amount provided in the Senate budget resolution after significant debate.)


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