Tuesday, March 22, 2011

House Votes to Eliminate CNCS Funds from Budget

In today’s economic climate, Congress has had to consistently make difficult cuts in spending to address the budget crisis. Of particular interest to our communities, however, are the proposed cuts to the Corporation for National and Community Service(CNCS). In February, House Republicans passed a year-long spending bill – H.R. 1– that eliminates funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and all its programs. H.R. 1 cuts over $1.4 billion in federal funds provided for CNCS programs that encourage Americans to serve in their communities and around the nation.  On March 9th, the Senate voted on H.R. 1, as well as a Senate alternative, that included $1.17 billion for CNCS. Neither of those measures, which are roughly $50 billion apart in terms of overall funding levels, secured sufficient support to advance. A budget compromise much be reached soon so that FY 2011 budget bill can pass both chambers and receive White House approval. It is unclear whether the budget bill will include funding for CNCS. 

Not only is CNCS responsible for the Social Innovation Fund, which is designed to promote promising innovative practices in non-profits to help them muster evidence of what works and build their scale and capacity to address challenges facing low-income families, it also houses the AmeriCorps program. Through AmeriCorps programs, more than 75,000 Americans give back to their communities and country through intensive service. AmeriCorps members recruit, train and supervise community volunteers, teach, tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, help communities respond to disasters, and they build the capacity of nonprofit groups to become self-sustaining.

We will keep you posted on the latest information regarding funding for CNCS and the Social Innovation Fund.

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