FALL-ing Into Old Habits: Congress Set to Pass Short-Term Funding!
Wednesday, October 19, 2022
Section: October Associate Newsletter

Old habits die hard, even among legislators with fiscal deadlines they are supposed to meet. Luckily, Congress just averted its self-imposed crisis by delivering a continuing resolution (CR) to the President in the waning hours of the 2022 fiscal year!  

This short-term funding solution will continue to fund the government at FY 2022 funding levels through December 16, 2022, giving Congress more time to resolve a final FY 2023 spending bill after the November elections. 

While the CR generally freezes spending to current levels, there are some exceptions: The bill provides an additional $1 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program to assist families with the costs of heating and cooling, and to mitigate the effects of rising energy costs and extreme weather. 

But we can’t share the good without the bad, so let’s take a moment to reflect on the expected negotiations following what is sure to be a tense and unpredictable midterm election—one that will directly impact the positions each party takes to finalize these spending bills. 

The bipartisan, bicameral negotiations following elections are far more likely to reflect the Senate FY 2023 spending bill—and likely be even more modest in order to secure the needed Republican support for passage. As a reminder, the President’s budget, along with the House Appropriations Committee’s bill, best resemble USAging’s longtime advocacy requests. As expected, the Senate bill was less generous but still reflected an increase over FY 2022 levels for ACL. 

Because the Democratic-led House and Senate bills reflect the starting point of negotiations and won’t survive the next stage intact, it is essential for USAging advocates to continue to push for the highest levels of FY 2023 funding possible. It is equally important to secure FY 2023 funding and advocate against a CR extension, or worse, a year-long CR which would constrain OAA programs by relying on the disappointingly insufficient funding levels of FY 2022, especially as most states begin to deplete their infusion of COVID-19 relief funding. 

Over the next few months, advocates can continue to call on their elected officials to remind them of the critical importance of AAA programs and services, the mounting community needs—and personal stories, all of which will encourage  legislators to support the highest possible funding level for FY 2023. Continue to check USAging’s Appropriations Campaign page for resources that will help you connect with your elected officials today and stay tuned for the remainder of this unpredictable midterm election year!