The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY 2015 funding amounts for federal agencies, known as “302(b) allocations” by voice vote on May 22. The allocations adhere to the overall $1.014 trillion discretionary cap established by the Bipartisan Budget Act, and the defense and non-defense caps within it. The next step is for the respective Senate appropriations subcommittees to allocate funding for specific line items.
Two of the 12 appropriations bills fund the vast majority of disability-related discretionary programs – The Labor-HHS-Education bill and the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development (HUD) bill. The Senate’s Labor-HHS-Education discretionary allocation is $156.773 billion, the same amount it received in the FY 2014 omnibus, and its Transportation-HUD discretionary allocation is $54.439 billion. Earlier this month, the House released its 302(b) allocations, providing lower amounts for these bills at $155.693 billion and $52.029 billion.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has dedicated two weeks in June and two weeks in July for floor time for spending bills. The Senate Labor-HHS markups are expected to be held on June 10 and June 12 for the subcommittee and full committee. However, the prospects for the House and Senate to agree to a Labor-HHS-Education spending bill before the 2015 fiscal year begins on October 1 are uncertain. If the Labor-HHS-Education funding bill is not passed, one or more continuing resolutions are expected that would likely provide level funding. See current funding levels for disability-related programs on The Arc’s website.