Congress returned from August recess this week, but with less than two weeks left in the legislative session, they aren’t expected to get much accomplished in the coming days. As the January sequestration implementation date quickly approaches, Congress is awaiting the Obama Administration’s detailed report explaining just how the nearly $120 billion in automatic spending cuts would impact various federally funding programs, including those serving vulnerable children and families. The Administration acknowledged that the report would be delayed, but as of print time, the report had yet to be released.
While a select group of critical programs including IV-E Foster Care and Adoption Assistance, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program are exempt from these cuts, others including IV-B part 1, Child Welfare Services, Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, Head Start, and the Social Services Block Grant are not. Stay tuned to The Children’s Monitor for updates on the looming sequestration cuts.
Although Congress faces a number of deadlines, it is unlikely that much negotiating or compromising will take place outside of the official business necessary to prevent a government shutdown when the fiscal year ends on September 30. Next week Congress will likely leave for the last leg of the 2012 presidential race without taking any real action on the other pending measures.