Late Monday evening, a two-year budget deal was introduced into Congress. This legislation proposes to increase non-defense spending (including funds for education programs like TRIO) by $25 billion in FY 2016 (Program Year 2016-2017) and $15 billion in FY 2017 (Program Year 2017-2018). The deal also includes an identical increase for defense spending as well as a proposal to lift the debt ceiling through March 15, 2017.
This budget agreement, if passed by the House and Senate, would provide the flexibility for TRIO to secure the $60.2 million (7% increase) included in the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. That, in turn, would allow each TRIO project to receive a real increase in the 2016-2017 program year.
It is expected that both chambers will vote on the legislation by mid-week. (Incidentally, Republicans in the House of Representatives will select Representative Paul Ryan (R-WI) as the Speaker in a Caucus vote on Wednesday, with a vote by the full House of Representatives on Thursday.)
You are encouraged to continue to contact your legislators via phone and social media to urge them to vote in favor of the bill. Remember, we will only be able to achieve a $60 million funding increase if Congress moves to “raise the caps”! You can find contact information for your legislators at http://www.congressweb.com/coe/legislators.
As always, thank you for your tireless efforts to achieve college access and success for all.