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Fiscal year 2011 appropriations.

One certainty about the lame-duck session is that members must act on federal budget appropriations for FY 2011. The new fiscal year began on Oct. 1, and agencies are being funded now by a continuing resolution. That resolution provides level funding for most federal programs, but expires on Dec. 3. The CR, passed just before the campaign break as a substitute amendment to H.R. 3081, included short-term extensions of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant and other TANF funds; the Court Improvement Program under the Promoting Safe and Stable Families program, Title IV-B, Part 2; and level funding for federal nutrition programs. The CR was silent on several APHSA priority issues, including continuation of the TANF Emergency Contingency Fund and continuation of the federal match for child support incentive funds. Since the CR extends funds only through Dec. 3, longer-term extensions will be among the tasks the lame-duck session must complete. None of the regular fiscal year 2011 appropriations bills have passed both chambers, so lawmakers will likely create a large omnibus appropriations package.

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In addition to these human service issues, the lame duck will probably consider--if not act on--several other topics. One will be the report of the bipartisan fiscal commission that was established to make recommendations for dealing with the deficit; the report is due out Dec. 1.

Another is a possible one-time Social Security payment. For the second year in a row, SSA recipients will not receive a cost-of-living adjustment; as a result, a number of House and Senate members have said they want to consider a onetime $250 payment to Social Security recipients. The $250 payment to eligible seniors is supported by the administration and by a number of interest groups, but is expected to face tough opposition in the Senate.

Larry Goolsby is APHSA's director of legislative affairs.

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Title Annotation:Washington update
Author:Goolsby, Larry
Publication:Policy & Practice
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2010
Words:308
Previous Article:Substantial work awaits new Congress.
Next Article:Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
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