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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: House Passes Two Year Budget Deal, Contact Your Senators Today!

On Thursday, December 12, The US House of Representatives passed a budget with bipartisan support. The deal is being praised as a welcome break from the deadlock that has consumed Washington in recent years and culminated in the recent government shutdown. The two year budget deal means that Congress can return to their normal budget process instead of the incremental funding by Continuing Resolution that has become the norm over the past three years.

The budget passed by a vote of 332 to 94, with 169 Republicans and 163 Democrats voting yes. The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate tomorrow, Tuesday, December 17.

The budget deal is a step forward for our nation, but the fight for adequate funding for Independent Living is far from over.

The budget sets the overall funding limits, from which the Appropriations Committee funds individual programs. It does not set specific funding levels for individual programs such as the Workforce Investment Act (WIA). Appropriations are expected to be made quickly, before the current Continuing Resolution expires on January 15.

While Congress works to appropriate funding, NCIL will be working diligently to demonstrate the Independent Living Program’s important contributions to communities nationwide and its significant return-on-investment.

We need you to call your Senators today, and urge them to increase funding for Independent Living! 

Stay tuned over the next month for important information on the upcoming appropriations and their effect on Independent Living.

More Information

This bill reduces the chances of another government shutdown, replaces $63 billion in across-the-board sequester cuts with more targeted reductions, restores about two-thirds of the scheduled nondefense discretionary cuts that were scheduled to go into effect in 2014, and lowers the deficit over ten years.

It does not extend expanded unemployment benefits that expire at the end of December, or address the debt ceiling, which is expected to become an issue again in 2014. In an effort to satisfy both parties, this budget does not include new taxes or cuts to safety-net programs like Medicare and Social Security.

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