Capitol Corner March 2022

Congress has passed the $1.5 trillion omnibus appropriations bill that funds the federal government through September 30, 2022 and delivers $14 billion to help Ukraine, clearing the bill for President Joe Biden’s signature.

This is the first annual funding package in a decade not under the Budget Control Act of 2011 and therefore increases to many programs were possible. There is an almost seven percent increase for non-defense agencies to $730 billion. A six percent increase is included for national defense for $782 billion.

Aging Services and Programs Funding

Most aging programs and services, however, only averaged a less than two percent increase. This is a vastly inadequate amount to meet current and rising needs despite an ever-growing aging population, increased demand for access to services and programs due to the pandemic and rising inflation. Centralina will be advocating aggressively for FY23 funding levels to be higher and ask that our members also raise concerns with your Members of Congress.

COVID Response Funding

Missing from the legislation is $15.6 billion in emergency funding for the coronavirus pandemic, which was removed after objections to paying for it with cuts to mostly state American Rescue Plan funding under the State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. House and Senate leadership pledged to find ways to fund the Covid response, but with cuts from elsewhere to get a standalone bill through the Senate, where Republican votes will be needed for passage. Meanwhile, it is imperative that local governments thank Members of Congress for the ARP funding and share news on the positive impacts the aid will have on residents.

Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) enacted in November 2021 is fully funded, allowing new programs to be released and increased funding levels for this fiscal year authorized by the BIL to be deployed. Under the deal, the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, will receive $16.2 billion more than in fiscal 2021.

WE'VE MOVED

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