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Update on Funding for the Rest of FY 2011

House and Senate members voted April 14 on the “Department of Defense and Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011” (H.R.1473), which is the result of negotiations throughout the seven Continuing Resolutions that have kept the government operating since October 1, 2010.       

Funding totals at $1.049 trillion, about $40 billion less than in 2010. $12 billion had been reduced through previous continuing resolutions, and new cuts equal about $28 billion. Overall, this is about a one percent decrease in spending for FY 2011. However, most of the cuts come from discretionary spending programs such as education, food, housing, etc. H.R 1473 includes deep cuts to HUD, job training programs, along with significant cuts in funding  for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The defense budget received a one percent increase to $513 billion – which does not include the $158 billion for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

How could it have been worse? H.R. 1, passed by the House in February, called for cuts of $61 billion in the same areas. The behind-the-scenes work of the administration and members of the Senate leadership preserved some programs which would have been eliminated and limited the degree of cuts to other programs, many of which NETWORK strongly supports. These include:

  • Head Start will face cuts, but not to the H.R. 1 level which would have prevented 218,000 children from benefiting from the program. The H.R.1 level would have laid off 55,000 teachers and related staff.  This compromise maintains the current numbers of children and jobs.
  • Proposed cuts to Title 1 education would have cost approximately 10,000 jobs and one million students would have lost educational services which allow them to benefit from school. Instead, the compromise maintains the 2010 funding.
  • Older members of our communities will continue to benefit from Commodity Supplemental Food Program – which had been zeroed out in H.R.1.  The previous funding is maintained in the compromise.
  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants & Children (WIC) is cut by $752 million to $6.5 billion for 2011 – just as food prices are escalating. H.R.1 would have cut more deeply, and WIC would not have been able to meet needs of those who are eligible.
  • Pell grants assist