VITA Update: Budget Bills Moving, but Still Face Hurdles
An early morning release of the U.S. House of Representatives’ draft Fiscal Year 2012 omnibus budget bill bears some good news for the VITA field. Funding for the VITA grant program, according to the bill, is set to be sustained at $12 million for next year’s grants. This funding level has remained consistent with language emerging from several rounds of review by Congressional appropriators in both the House and the Senate. As of now, NCTC expects this figure to remain intact should a final compromise bill be approved by both Houses.
There is some concern, however, that the House and Senate may not build consensus on a final bill prior to the expiration of the current budgetary continuing resolution (CR) tomorrow, Friday, December 16. Should this failure occur, both Houses will either have to produce a new, short-term CR or accept a federal government shutdown until a new budget is approved. Either of these scenarios could prove costly to programs beneficial to our various concerns. With added time to consider these measures comes an added incentive to make further cuts and compromises, creating a precarious budgetary position for many discretionary programs.
The NCTC is staying abreast of all the latest developments and will continue to work with our champions and leaders in Washington to ensure the best possible outcome for the VITA grant program and the families it serves. Please regularly check-in with this blog to receive the most up-to-date news on this and other pressing matters for the VITA field.