Goodwill® Encourages Congress to Consider Investments that Leverage Non-Government Resources

US Capitol on 100 US Dollars banknotes backgroundA small portion of Goodwill’s revenues comes from government sources. In 2011, two percent came from government grants, while eight percent came from government fees for service. These modest investments leveraged Goodwill’s self-sustaining social enterprise; with Goodwill investing 82 percent of the $4.4 billion it raised to supplement federal investments in programs that give people the skills they need to re-enter the workforce.

This week, Congress reconvened to wrap up its work on legislation that will provide FY 2013 funding for federal programs, as well as to posture about how to prevent the nation from going over “the fiscal cliff.”

FY 2013 Funding
Since Congress has yet to complete work on any of the 12 must-pass spending bills, they are expected to pass a “continuing resolution” (H.J. Res. 117) that will temporarily extend funding for government agencies and programs through March 27, 2013. Under the bill, funding for programs would receive an across-the-board increase of 0.612 percent compared to the amount appropriated for FY 2012.

Since the bill includes the March 27 deadline, it would pass the buck to the new 113th Congress to make final decisions about FY 2013 spending. However, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), who chairs the Senate subcommittee with jurisdiction over funding for the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, has predicted that the next Congress is likely to extend the continuing resolution for the remainder of FY 2013.

The House is expected to consider the bill today. The Senate is expected to consider the bill after it is passed by the House, mostly likely next week.

The Fiscal Cliff
Partisan differences continue to rage over how to avert automatic cuts due to begin in January. Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) asserts that the automatic spending cuts should be avoided by making “common-sense spending cuts and reforms,” while the White House insists upon “a balanced approach,” eluding to a combination of cost-saving as well as revenue-raising strategies.

Furthermore, Jon Carson, the director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, recently noted at a meeting involving organizations concerned about cuts to non-defense discretionary spending, that the president would veto any unbalanced alternative to avoid automatic spending cuts.

While deficit reduction will require belt-tightening measures, Goodwill believes that investments are also needed in integrated strategies that build upon and leverage existing resources that aim to help put people back to work and attain the skills employers need to compete.