Update on the Federal Budget and Appropriations
Amid Action on the Fiscal Year 2011 and 2012 Budgets, Congress Debates What to Do About the Long-Term Deficit
April 29, 2011- Legislation funding federal programs for the 2011 fiscal year (which began October 1, 2010)-signed into law after many delays-significantly reduces some programs that help low-income people and those with mental illnesses. However, the final law does not include the draconian cuts discussed at one stage of the deliberations.
Now Congress has begun work on the budget resolution for fiscal year 2012. Budget resolutions set goals for overall spending. They include assumptions about savings that might be made in specific program areas. A budget resolution is a congressional instrument, serving as a guideline for authorizing and appropriating committees, and does not need to be signed into law by the President.
The House has passed its budget resolution, which cuts federal spending by $4.5 trillion over 10 years from programs that serve people with limited means. Almost $3 trillion of the savings are offset by tax cuts.
The Senate is expected to work on its version shortly. Most years House and Senate negotiate a compromise budget resolution, but this does not always happen and could very well prove impossible this year.
In this alert we summarize the impact of the FY 2011appropriations on programs that are important to people with mental illnesses and highlight the most significant issues in the House budget resolution for 2012, with links to supporting documents at the end.
Your advocacy will be important to protect people with mental disabilities as the process unfolds. Watch for our alerts and stay tuned to www.bazelon.org for updates.