The Federal Budget

LSA is one of the largest health and human services networks in the country, serving low-income, vulnerable people of all ages, faiths, and abilities. In order for LSA members to most effectively meet the needs of these populations in whatever place they call home, Congress must adequately fund annually appropriated federal programs in a timely manner. Doing so creates much-needed budgetary certainty for states, localities, and providers; and continuity of care for consumers. Further, LSA urges lawmakers to responsibly replace the sequester with a balanced approach that protects and strengthens the financial and health security of low-income, vulnerable Americans and their families.

LSA Publications and Resources

LSA Analysis: The Administration's FY17 Budget Request to Congress

On February 9 2016, President Obama submitted his final budget request to Congress. The Administration’s plan includes funding requests for all federal executive departments and independent agencies for fiscal year 2017 (FY17), which begins October 1, 2016.  The President's budget is non-binding on lawmakers, and is not expected to gain much traction during an election year in a Republican-controlled Congress. However, it is a helpful policy and advocacy tool, as it outlines the fiscal, regulatory, and legislative priorities of federal agencies, which will be important both throughout and beyond the current budget cycle.  LSA's analysis of the FY17 budget request includes agency and content-specific breakdowns of the proposed funding levels, with a focus on initiatives of importance to LSA members.  Our full report is available here.

LSA Analysis: The 2016 State of the Union Address

On January 12, 2016, President Obama delivered his last State of the Union (SOTU) address to Congress.  Though Presidents often use the annual address as an opportunity to highlight their Administration’s policy goals for the coming  year, President Obama’s eighth and final SOTU served less as a ‘laundry list’ of plans and more as his vision for the future.  However, there were clear policy ideas embedded in the speech, some of which are likely to be reflected in the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Request to Congress, as well as the White House’s 2016 legislative agenda.  To provide both a preview of and context for the Administration's fiscal and policy priorities in 2016, LSA has prepared a summary of the SOTU, with an emphasis on the provisions that intersect with our members, their priorities, and those they serve. Please click here to find our analysis, which focuses on the speech language and underlying Administration policies in the following areas: Health, Economic Security, Refugees and Immigration, Criminal Justice, and Education.

LSA Analysis: Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

On November 2, 2015, President Obama signed into law a two-year budget and debt ceiling agreement, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA, 114-74). The measure lifts the federal borrowing limit – also known as the debt ceiling - through March 2017, and provides a framework for federal spending in fiscal years 2016 and 2017.  The deal includes $80 billion in sequestration relief, split evenly between defense and nondefense discretionary (NDD) programs – a major win for NDD advocates like LSA.  The legislation also addresses a looming increase in Medicare Part B premiums, and makes legislative changes to extend the solvency of the Social Security Disability Insurance trust fund.  To comply with parliamentary requirements, the BBA also includes program and policy changes to offset the cost of these sequester and health care provisions.   Read LSA's analysis here.

LSA Analysis: FY16 House and Senate Budget Resolutions 

In March, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate Budget Committees released and approved their respective budget blueprints for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.  Though the chambers diverge on some key issues, the resolutions largely mirror prior year GOP-backed proposals, and would make significant changes to a number of programs important to LSA members. While these competing budget resolutions do not have the force of law, they do serve to outline the leadership’s fiscal and policy priorities for FY16; actual funding levels for federal discretionary programs will be set through the annual appropriations process.  LSA's analysis of the House and Senate proposals, which focuses on provisions of importance to LSA members, is available here.  

LSA Analysis: The Administration’s FY16 Budget Request

On February 2, President Obama submitted his fiscal year 2016 (FY16) budget request to Congress. His plan outlines the Administration’s overall fiscal policy and federal program priorities for the FY that will begin on October 1, 2015. Included in the Administration’s budget are funding requests for all federal executive departments and independent agencies. The President’s budget is non-binding on Congress, and is not expected to gain much traction with both chambers under GOP control. However, the budget does provide a sense of the President’s priorities for the final years of his term, and the Administration’s preferences will be important throughout the annual budget and appropriations process. LSA's preliminary analysis of the President’s budget request includes agency and content-specific breakdowns of the proposed funding levels, with a focus on initiatives of particular interest to LSA members. LSA's report is available here.

LSA Analysis: The 2015 State of the Union Address

Traditionally delivered each January, the State of the  Union (SOTU) address is a blueprint for what the incumbent President is likely to emphasize in the coming year.  On January 20 2015, President Obama delivered his penultimate SOTU, outlining policy proposals and programmatic initiatives with potential implications for LSA members in communities across the country. From the Administration’s three-pronged approach to making child care more affordable, to its plans for expanding education and reducing incarceration rates, the actions,  themes, and issues at the core of this year’s SOTU suggest President Obama’s 2015 agenda will heavily intersect with the work LSA members do each day. Accordingly, we have prepared a summary of the SOTU, with a focus on provisions of consequence for our members, their priorities, and those they serve.  Please click here to find our analysis, which includes the relevant speech language and underlying Administration policies in the following areas: Affordable Child Care, Criminal Justice, Affordable Housing, Precision Medicine, Community College, Paid Leave, and Wages.