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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Independent Living Appropriations Update

With the deadline for the end of the fiscal year fast approaching, Congress passed and the President signed a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government funded at current levels and suspend the debt ceiling through December 8, 2017. The legislation also provides $15.25 billion in emergency disaster relief funding.

This CR gives Congress additional time to work on their appropriations bills. That said, both the House and Senate have passed their Labor-HHS-Education (L-HHS-Ed) bills out of the Appropriations Committee. Both bills level fund the Independent Living program at $101,183,000, which includes $22,878,000 in Part B funding and $78,305,000 in Part C funding.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingWhile level funding is far from what we need, we are very happy that neither the House nor the Senate accepted the President’s proposal to make cuts to the Independent Living program’s Part B funding to create his proposed “Partnerships for Innovation, Inclusion, and Independence” (P3I). Both the House and the Senate included the exact same language in their reports, stating that they recognize the unique role played by each program (Statewide Independent Living Councils, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities, and State Advisory Boards on Traumatic Brain Injury) and that consolidation would not serve the needs of people with disabilities. Thank you to everyone who spoke out against this proposal. Our collective action on this helped to avoid what would have been disastrous cuts.

Now Congress has until December 8, 2017 to finalize each of their 12 annual appropriations bills. While Congress has made significant progress on many of the individual spending bills, there are differences between House and Senate bills that will have to be reconciled. Further, if Congress does not raise the cap on discretionary funding that’s required under the Budget Control Act of 2011, sequestration will go into effect, resulting in across-the-board cuts that will severely impact the programs and services people with disabilities rely on, including the Independent Living Program. Read more about the history of the Budget Control Act and sequestration in a 2012 NCIL Action Alert.

We will continue to keep you updated as more information is available. You can review both the House and Senate’s bills and reports below.

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