Congress in Recess
The Senate and House departed for recess last Thursday, November 15 and Friday, November 16, respectively. The Senate is expected to return on Monday, November 26; the House is expected to return Tuesday, November 27. Upon its return, Congress is expected to continue to address broad budgetary issues and work toward an agreement on a deficit reduction package throughout the "lame duck" session.
There is broad agreement that a deal to somehow avoid the impending "Fiscal Cliff" should be reached in order to avoid sequestration, the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act. The onset of sequestration, in combination with other looming fiscal issues, including the federal government hitting the debt ceiling, the expiration of the Bush-era tax cuts, the expiration of the unemployment insurance extension, the payroll tax extension expiration, and other issues have come to be known collectively as a "Fiscal Cliff" that the U.S. government will face at the end of 2012 if Congress fails to take preventative action. Discussions regarding the balance of revenue increases and spending cuts are likely to be central to the debate as the Administration, House, and Senate work to reach a deficit reduction agreement.
President Meets with Congressional Leadership on Fiscal Cliff
Last Friday, November 16, President Barack Obama had a constructive meeting at the White House with House and Senate leadership (House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY)). The leaders have suggested that during this meeting a framework was put in place to reach a deficit reduction deal that would involve raising tax revenue and crafting entitlement reforms, although the specifics of such a package remain unresolved.
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Veterans Employment Issues
Last Thursday, November 15, the Economic Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled "Review of Veterans Employment Challenges and Initiatives of the 112th Congress." In this hearing, presenters discussed future opportunities and reviewed existing programs to help unemployed veterans find meaningful employment. One panel included testimony by: John Moran, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations and Management of the Veterans' Employment and Training Service at the U.S. Department of Labor; and Curtis Coy, Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity of the Veterans Benefits Administration at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Alliance Scholarship Program Reminder
The Alliance has established a scholarship program to assist individuals who are currently homeless or who have experienced homelessness in the past and cannot afford to cover the full cost of participating in the Conference.
The deadline for scholarship applications for the 2013 National Conference on Ending Family and Youth Homelessness is December 19, 2012. Scholarships are not transferable and all applicants must be at least 18 years of age, or be accompanied by a parent or guardian. The Alliance selects applicants based on their financial need, geographic distribution, and leadership skills.
Applicants can expect to learn the status of their application within two to three weeks of the application deadline.
Scholarships can help cover travel and hotel costs associated with the Conference and include:
Roundtrip transportation to Seattle, WA to attend the Conference;
Hotel accommodations for two nights at the conference hotel; and
A travel stipend.
Brief on White and African-American Youth Homelessness in San Francisco
The California Homeless Youth Project recently published a brief titled, "Comparing White and African American Homeless Youth in San Francisco: Research Finding and Policy Implications," based upon research from the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine, and the University of California Berkeley School of Public Health.
Findings of the research are that white and African-American youth:
Have different trajectories into homelessness;
Have different degrees of contact with their families;
Experience 'homelessness' differently; and
Have different patterns of using services.