Goodwill® Programs Fare Well under Federal Spending Plan

Photo montage of US flag, Capitol Building and $20 billThis week, the Obama administration unveiled its budget request for FY 2013. Goodwill® is pleased to report that proposed federal funding remains steady for programs that support our mission. Read more about our priority issues below and click here (PDF) to view ourside-by-side comparison of FY 2012 appropriations to FY 2013 proposals.

American Jobs Act (AJA)

Obama’s plan proposes funding for American Jobs Act (first proposed last year) initiatives that address long-term unemployment and provide opportunities to put people back to work. Such initiatives include:

1) A $12.5 billion “Pathways Back to Work” program which would invest in subsidized employment and work-based training programs for long-term unemployed and low-income people
2) An $8 billion community college initiative to support state and community college partnerships with businesses to build the skills of American workers.

Older Workers

The budget plan also proposes to provide nearly $450 million for the Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), level funding compared to FY 2012. As it did last year, the administration proposes to transfer SCSEP from the U.S. Department of Labor to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Administration on Aging.

The budget asserts that the transfer would improve coordination between SCSEP and other senior-serving programs and to help the program better fulfill its dual goals of fostering individual economic self-sufficiency and promoting useful opportunities in community service.

Since the transfer was first proposed last year, Goodwill has encouraged members of Congress to consider the transfer as part of efforts to reauthorize SCSEP (Title V of the Older American’s Act) rather than as part of the appropriations process.

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)

The TANF program is due for reauthorization this year. While the president’s budget does not include specific provisions related to reauthorization, it does propose to provide $319 million in permanent funding for TANF supplemental grants.

This funding will be granted to 17 states for population increases. However, the cost for this proposal would be paid for by reducing funding for the TANF Contingency Fund, which is used to assist states with needs stemming from a downturn in the economy.  

The administration notes they will work with Congress to revise the Contingency Fund to make it more effective during economic downturns, which could result in increased opportunities for collaboration with Goodwill agencies.  Agencies that have received funding through the Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grants will be pleased to know that the budget continues level funding for this program.

Deficit Reduction

The president’s budget also calls upon Congress to replace $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, as required under the Budget Control Act, with alternative deficit-reduction measures. Without such an alternative, final FY 2013 defense and non-defense discretionary spending will be reduced across the board by roughly $813 billion ($492 billion from the defense discretionary budget and $322 billion from the non-defense discretionary budget) starting on January 2, 2013.

Itemized Tax Deductions

Lastly, the president’s budget proposes to raise an estimated $584 billion over 10 years by capping itemized deductions at 28 percent for taxpayers who earn more than $200,000 per year ($250,000 for families). Many nonprofit leaders are concerned that such a proposal would stifle charitable donations that community-based organizations use to support their mission.

We look forward to working with policymakers this year to promote investments that help people find jobs and advance in careers despite a difficult job market.