FY 2021 APPROPRIATIONS UPDATE
By NJCA in General
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 appropriations process is proceeding as normal despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Although traditional budget hearings with Administration officials are postponed indefinitely, appropriations staff is working diligently to process the annual appropriations bill this summer. Earlier this month, House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) announced plans to hold committee markups for FY 2021 appropriations bills during the weeks of July 6, 2020 and July 13, 2020, with floor votes scheduled for the weeks of July 20, 2020 and July 27, 2020. The order of the bills to be considered is still being determined, so it is not clear when the House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations Bill, which includes funding for Job Corps, will be considered in the lineup. Last week, the House Democratic Leadership announced the House will reconvene earlier than expected in order to consider police reform. As a result, the full House is now expected to reconvene during the week of June 22, 2020, with floor votes expected June 29-July 2, 2020.
Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) announced that his committee plans to begin markups as early as the week of June 22, 2020, with the first subcommittee markups likely to occur on June 23, 2020, and a full committee markup on June 25, 2020. Committee action on the FY 2021 Appropriations is expected to continue throughout July. At this time, Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Roy Blunt (R-MO) wants to markup the FY 2021 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill before the Fourth of July recess, but moving forward with this accelerated timeline depends on if bipartisan agreements can be made between Republicans and Democrats.
Given the limited number of legislative days between now and the end of the fiscal year, it is unlikely that Congress can complete the FY 2021 appropriations process by the end of September 2020 and will have to pass a continuing resolution for some time after the November election. The outcome of the November election will have an impact on the overall funding levels for the FY 2021 appropriations bills. It is expected that Congress will likely have to consider either an omnibus appropriations bill in late November or December of this year. NJCA is actively engaging with leadership from the House and Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittees to outline the annual needs for Job Corps. The FY 2021 funding request, as per the approval of the NJCA Operators Advisory Committee, submitted by NJCA reflects an increase of $125 million in additional construction, rehabilitation, and acquisition funding from the FY 2020 funding level. NJCA also has requested, via report language, the subcommittees to address three important policy issues for the association’s members: Job Corps slot utilization and recruitment, industry-standard training and trade modernization and performance-based contracting.