The House Appropriations Committee this week released a list of cuts it plans to propose as the House and Senate tackle new continuing resolution language for the still-unpassed FY2011 budget. The list of cuts is worded vaguely, and legislators would not provide details. However, Appropriations Committee spokeswoman Jennifer Hing said an actual bill, with details, could be released as soon as this afternoon.
The proposed cuts may be too much for some centrist Republicans, and they may not be enough for many of the new Conservatives. There is no way to tell what will actually make its way out of the House, and what will happen when that bill meets a Senate spending plan that will almost certainly include higher funding levels.
Consideration of a new continuing resolution is slated to begin Monday. The current resolution expires March 4.
This is a list of the programs that affect youth and families which are currently on the House Appropriations chopping block.
Program: Job Training Programs
Cut: $2 billion
Notes: There is much fear among youth advocates that this cut could actually include AmeriCorps or the entire Corporation for National and Community Services. The Republican Study Group proposed eliminating CNCS in recently submitted legislation, and an action alert sent today by Voices for National Service said that the appropriations bill “will eliminate  funding for programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service, including AmeriCorps.”
CNCS Chief of Field Operations Michael Berning sent an e-mail to state service commissions encouraging them to maintain level heads.
“I’ve participated in several discussions with CNCS senior leadership within the past 24 hrs and I assure you that no one yet knows with certitude about specific numbers,” Berning said in the e-mail.
Program: Office of National Drug Control Policy
Cut: $69 million
Notes: This could be the end (for now) of ONDCP’s media campaign, which received $70 million in 2009 and $45 million in 2010.
Program: State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance
Cut: $256 million
Notes: The number matches up roughly with the Byrne Discretionary and Competitive Grants appropriation for 2010 ($225 million). That pot of money usually funds a slew of congressional earmarks every year, many of them for juvenile justice ventures, but could be viewed as largely expendable by appropriators given the resolve to ban earmarks.
Program: Juvenile Justice
Cut: $2.3 million
Notes: A miniscule amount of the overall juvenile justice budget, but advocates are concerned because backwards movement of appropriations tend to build momentum that way, and the 2012 appropriations battle may not be much better than the current one.
Program: Maternal and Child Health Block Grants
Cut: $210 million
Notes: Received $662 million in 2009 and 2010. The home visitation program, which was part of the health care reform bill, is authorized for $250 million within the Maternal and Child Health Block Grants in 2011.
Program: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
Cut: $96 million
Notes: The budget for SAMHSA is $3.4 billion, so there is no telling where this would come from.
Program: Community Services Block Grant
Cut: $405 million
Notes: Funded at $746 million last year. President Obama mentioned in the State of the Union that his budget would propose “cuts to things I care deeply about, like community-action programs.” Those programs are a major recipient of CSBG funds.
Program: Community Health Centers
Cut: $1.3 billion
Notes: The National Association of Community Health Centers said in a statement this week that the cut would cause the centers to “lose the capacity to serve 11 million patients over the next year, with well over 3.3 million current patients losing their care within the next few months.”
Program: Women, Infants and Children
Cut: $758 million
Notes: Would cut about 10 percent of the $7.3 billion appropriated last year for WIC, which provides assistance with food and health care for women with young children who are living in poverty.