As of Wednesday evening, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) that extends the government’s funding to Dec. 9, averting a government shutdown, and delaying funding negotiations for FY 17 until the lame-duck session.
This CR is identical to the proposal that Democrats were so staunchly against earlier this week, which contained measures to combat the Zika Virus and provide relief for flood affected victims in Louisiana, but excluded relief for those affected by the Flint, Michigan Water Crisis. Democrats dropped their resistance towards the proposed CR when leadership from both parties came to an agreement to ensure the Water Crisis is resolved during December’s lame-duck session. The Flint Water Crisis is expected to be solved through a large authorization of funding through the Water Resources Development Act.
When funding discussions for FY 17 resume, Republican leadership eye on a “mini-bus” strategy, which would combine certain spending measures together, opposed to what we have seen in recent years where Congress passes an omnibus that combines all funding measures into a single bill.
Congress will now remain, for the most part, out of session from now until election season is over. Despite this, NAfME will continue to maintain a strong advocacy presence on the Hill, as congressional staff is expected to begin pre-conference funding discussions while their bosses are on the campaign trail. The time between now and December will be crucial to ensure offices understand how essential it is to appropriately fund programs in ESSA to support music education!
How YOU Can Be A Part of the Process
If you have not already, please visit our Grassroots Action Center and use our very easy tool to send letter to Congress that asks for full funding of the Title IV, Part A block grant! It is imperative that your Senators and Representatives hear your voices as they move to make a major funding decision before the next President’s administration!
Ronny Lau, Policy Advisor, Center for Advocacy, Policy, and Constituency Engagement, September 30, 2016. © National Association for Music Education (NAfME.org)