Cromnibus Christmas / Chromnibus Chanukkah

President Obama addressing Congress. The 113th Congress concluded its work in time to leave town for the holidays. While not the most productive Congress in terms of bills passed, the 113th was able to finish one of the mandatory “must do” items of funding the Federal government for Fiscal Year 2015.

One might notice that while the Fiscal Year actually began October 1, for Congress, a three month delay is not uncommon in the highly partisan and dysfunctional climate. The federal government has been operating under a Continuing Resolution, a Congressionally-enacted measure to provide short term funding to keep the doors of government open while Appropriators hammer out details of longer term funding levels.

What exactly is a Cromnibus? It’s not a Nightmare Before Christmas, but rather a massive funding bill that provides funding to keep the Federal government open for a short period of time (a Continuing Resolution) and also provides long term funding for eleven of Federal agencies in one bill (an Omnibus)…thus the marvelously named CR-Omnibus!

How did libraries fare in the Cromnibus funding package? Mostly, programs supported by the libraries received level funding, which is good news in the austere atmosphere on Capitol Hill. For example, the Library Services and Technology Act, Head Start, Innovative Approaches to Literacy, and Career and Technical Education State Grants all received the same level of funding as FY 2014.

A few programs received slight increases or decreases. Small increases were granted to the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Striving Readers, Library of Congress, and the Government Publishing Office (formally known as the Government Printing Office). Slight decreases were dealt to Assessment programs, National Archives, and Electronic Government initiatives.

You can view an expanded chart displaying the funding levels of top ALA priority programs by clicking here (pdf).

Now that the FY 15 budget is done and the 113th Congress has concluded, the 114th Congress will arrive in a few weeks and work on the FY 16 budget will begin.

About Kevin Maher

Kevin Maher is the Assistant Director of the American Library Association's Office of Government Relations (OGR).

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