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WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE 2013 CONGRESS Arley Johnson – Executive Director, Advocates for The Other America Brad Penney – General Counsel, Advocates for.

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Presentation on theme: "WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE 2013 CONGRESS Arley Johnson – Executive Director, Advocates for The Other America Brad Penney – General Counsel, Advocates for."— Presentation transcript:

1 WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE 2013 CONGRESS Arley Johnson – Executive Director, Advocates for The Other America Brad Penney – General Counsel, Advocates for The Other America Mike Gaffin – Legislative Assistant to Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

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3 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR STATE COMMUNITY SERVICES PROGRAMS (NASCSP) The National Association for State Community Services Programs (NASCSP) is the premier national association charged with advocating and enhancing the leadership role of states in preventing and reducing poverty. ADVOCATES FOR THE OTHER AMERICA Advocates for The Other America (AFTOA) is a 501(c)4 lobbying and consulting organization working to advance the concerns and issues of low income Americans intended to educate Congressional Members and the Administration on the serious and dire straits the country’s low income Americans are facing

4 Fiscal Cliff deal did not address spending cuts Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) and the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) continue to be funded at the levels contained in the Continuing Resolution that expires on March 27 th, FISCAL CLIFF DEAL

5 Under the fiscal cliff deal, the sequestration cuts were deferred for two months to enable Congress to work out an alternative If no alternative is agreed to by Congress at the end of the two month extension, sequestration will be implemented 8.2% cuts will be applied across the board to defense and some domestic discretionary programs. SEQUESTRATION

6 The federal government is operating under a Continuing Resolution (CR) that expires on March 27 th Congress has two alternatives: – 1.) Enact an “Omnibus” spending bill that reflects agreement between the House and Senate on a budget for the federal government for the balance of FY 2013 – 2.) If there is no agreement, Congress must enact another CR – either temporary or for the remaining six months of the fiscal year A second “CR” would fund the government at FY 2012 levels, including the unacceptably low number of $68M for WAP – NASCSP is leading an effort to increase the funding for WAP in FY 2013, including seeking a finding from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that WAP is a “budget anomaly” because of the low FY 2012 allocation – In an Omnibus bill, we are seeking the Senate number of $145M for WAP. FISCAL YEAR 2013 BUDGET

7 Submission of the FY 2014 budget is typically done at the beginning of February Because of the uncertainty about the FY 2013 budget, it is anticipated that the FY 2014 budget will not be submitted to Congress until sometime in March We anticipate that the “ask” for CSBG will be a 50% cut, the same amount the Administration requested in FY 2013 NASCSP and AFTOA are leading an effort to persuade the White House to request a figure of not less than $210M for WAP in FY 2014 – 37 Senators signed a letter to the President in late November requesting $210M for WAP in FY FISCAL YEAR 2014 BUDGET

8 House Republicans have offered a four month extension of the debt ceiling on the condition that the Senate pass a budget Arguments that the 14 th amendment provides a basis for the President to raise the debt ceiling without approval by Congress – “the public debt …. Shall not be questioned” Treasury Department has rejected the call for issuing a platinum “one trillion dollar coin” to be deposited to the credit of the federal government. DEBT CEILING NEGOTIATIONS

9 Changes at the Senate Energy Natural Resources Committee: – Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is the new Chair, replacing Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico, who retired Will be bipartisan tradition of the ENR Committee continue? Among the issues before the Committee is the reauthorization of the WAP and SEP programs Chairs of Energy & Water Appropriations subcommittees remain to be selected. LEADERSHIP CHANGES ON THE HILL

10 Good possibility that CSBG will be authorized Senator Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) Office is looking at legislation We are also having discussions with Senator Harkin’s (D-IA) office Earlier discussions were had with House authorizing committee staff NCAF has left legislative suggestions with Brown’s staff NASCSP Board is finalizing legislative suggestions for review Stakeholders should have an opportunity to review and discuss CSBG REAUTHORIZATION

11 Action shortly on FY 13 Continuing Resolution We are leading effort to secure a “plus up” on the CR FY 2012 Omnibus funds WAP at $68M We argue that number is an anomaly because of the unspent Recovery Act funding still available in FY 2012 This is an uphill battle all the way; we need your help! Senate: , House POLITICAL OUTLOOK

12 INSIDE THE CRYSTAL BALL Fiscal Cliff deal resolved little Major challenges before Congress on the Debt Ceiling, sequestration, and FY 2013 budget Sequestration alternative likely to be negotiated Gridlock likely to continue as short term extensions of the debt ceiling postpone basic decisions on Entitlements and Federal Debt Republicans face leadership crisis in the House as “tea party” faction blocks bi-partisan negotiations “Doomsday” Commission ultimately becomes only way to resolve gridlock

13 NEEDED REFORM ON THE HILL

14 THANK YOU! QUESTIONS?


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