Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released twelve FY23 spending bills on July 28th. The Labor, Health and Human Services Appropriations bill includes $1.225 billion for the AmeriCorps agency, $74.7 million or 6.5% more than last year.
The Senate’s funding level for the AmeriCorps agency is $115 million less than President Biden’s FY23 request and $76 million less than the House included in their draft Labor-HHS bill.
The Senate Appropriations Committee does not plan to markup these spending bills under normal order but will use the drafts to aid negotiations with the House appropriators.
The draft Senate bill includes bill and report language that would enhance opportunities for more Americans to serve:
- gives the CEO the authority to establish additional terms of service under 1,700 hours; this would permit the agency to create a 1,500-hour service term;
- expands eligibility for AmeriCorps education awards to individuals with DACA status;
- gives the CEO the authority to waive the MLK Service Day matching requirements;
- urges the agency to continue to be a convenor of the important work surrounding service learning and requests a report detailing the steps necessary to restart service-learning programs;
- acknowledges there are concerns with existing grantee match requirements, urges the agency to review stakeholder comments for improving match, and instructs agency to submit a report to Congress outlining the actions they will take as a result of that review, as well as any recommended improvements that would require congressional action; and
- recommends increasing the maximum Pell Grant to $7,395, a $500 increase from FY22. If this were to pass, the maximum value of the AmeriCorps education award would be indexed to this new level in FY24.
Senate Democrats’ decision to release their bills without any markups amounts to a replay of last year, when a partisan impasse over spending levels led to a stalemate that significantly delayed the appropriations process. In the end, the FY22 omnibus agreement was signed into law in March, with nearly half the fiscal year already over. Given it is an election year, a new bipartisan deal on spending is unlikely to materialize before the midterms, leaving appropriations on the to-do list for a lame-duck session or the next Congress.
Click this link to access the Senate Appropriations Committee Press release, Labor-HHS bill text, explanatory statement, and bill summary.
|Program||FY22 Enacted||FY23 WH Request||FY23 House||FY23 Senate|
|AmeriCorps State and National||466.75M||557.09M||523M||491.75M|
|National Service Trust||190.55M||235M||235M||210.55M|
|– Foster Grandparents||122.36M||131.34M||131.34M|
|– Senior Companions||54.45M||58.71M||58.71M|
|Volunteer Generation Fund||6.56M||6.7M||6.56M||8.558M|
|State Commission Support Grants||19.09M||19.54M||19.54M||19.54M|
|Days of Service||3.33M||3.4M||3.54M||6.148M|
|CNCS Salaries and Expenses||88.08M||114.7M||109.7M||95.08M|