July 12, 2018 — After an epic and somewhat contentious 13 hour session, the House Appropriations Committee late Wednesday evening approved, 30-22, the $177.1 billion FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor H) appropriations bill. This bill provides funding for Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and its programs.
I am pleased to inform you that the bill recommends funding CNCS at the FY 2018 enacted level of $1,064 Billion for FY 2019. You can view the text of the bill here and the committee’s press release here. CNCS Portion of Bill Text is attached:
$412 Million – AmeriCorps State National
$17.538 Million – State Commission Grants
$5.4 Million – Volunteer Generation Fund
$92.4 Million – AmeriCorps VISTA
$202 Million – Senior Corps
$32 million – NCCC
$206.8 Million – Trust
$83.7 Million – CNCS Salaries and Expenses
This is very big news and is an incredibly positive development for state commissions and the entire service sector. Keep in mind that this funding recommendation is provided despite the Trump administration’s recommendation to eliminate CNCS in FY 2019 and the committee was working with the same amount of overall funding as last year and had to make offsets to increase funding for other priorities, such as NIH.
The House Appropriations Committee’s funding recommendation sends a strong message about the critical work that our sector provides and should inspire and motivate you to continue to engage and educate your members of Congress about this important work.
A big thank you to the members of the House Appropriations Committee for all their leadership and support and to our entire state commission and States for Service network and our partners at Voices for National Service and Service Year Alliance for all of the collective, continued advocacy and outreach on behalf of service.
This strong funding mark coupled with the AmeriCorps increase in the Senate mark puts CNCS funding in a strong position as the FY 2019 appropriations process moves forward.
It’s unclear when and whether House leaders will bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Last year, the version that advanced from committee passed on the House floor when packaged with several other appropriations measures.
Senate appropriators want to combine their Labor H bill with the Defense spending bill. The House already passed its Defense appropriations bill. However, if the Senate passes a combined bill and sends it to the House, the House might skip a floor vote on the Labor-H bill and head straight to conference where House and Senate appropriations negotiators will work out the differences in the respective bills. Once the bills are negotiated and finalized they would go back to both chambers’ floors for a final vote. Then the President would need to sign. The new fiscal year begins on October 1, so a lot of work will need to be done in a short span of time to complete this process in time. If not completed, there will most likely be a Continuing Resolution that provides short term funding to allow Congress to complete action on appropriations bills.
We still have a way to go in this process and we will continue to update you, but for now, this a very important development for service.
Chief Policy Officer
America’s Service Commissions