So, I know there’s a lot that WASN’T included in the omnibus (the giant spending bill that’s being voted on today/tomorrow) (such as a DACA fix!) and some bad things that WERE (like the aforementioned CLOUD item), but can I just take a second to talk about some good things that happened with it?
In short, guys, it was basically Christmas for the aging and disability programs I work with because of the bipartisan budget agreement raising spending levels for this year and next. They received funding increases that they haven’t seen in years [THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE RECEIVED ALL ALONG *cough*], and some of them were pretty unprecedented. We advocated for pie-in-the-sky funding levels for one program in particular and, as I said to my husband when the bill came out last night: “We didn’t get the moon, but we sure got the International Space Station!” These new levels mean that thousands and thousands more seniors and their families will get the services they need—Meals on Wheels, home health stuff, caregiving support, preventive health programs, all kinds of things. People with disabilities will also see serious increases in their program funding—as opposed to the cuts and eliminations the FY18 Trump budget called for. In non-old person news, I also see that NIH, CDC, education programs, and all kinds of other non-defense programs got boosts.
I know it’s really, really easy to shit on Congress, and I do it a lot because they generally deserve it, but for once, they actually are doing something they’re supposed to do—their damn job! AKA, funding programs that actually matter to the regular person. I know a DACA fix should have been tacked on with this, and so should some other items, but you know what? They shouldn’t HAVE TO BE because Congress should CONTINUE to do their job and pass more legislation in the interest of the people.