An omnibus funding bill includes earmarks for funding elderly care programs pioneered by Jewish groups.
The bill, passed by Congress Wednesday, includes $300,000 for two projects in New Haven, Conn. and Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C. pioneering the “Family Caregiver Access Network,” designed by United Jewish Communities, the federations umbrella. The projects are aimed at facilitating access to information and services for people who opt to be primary caregivers for elderly members of their family.
Also included is $5 million for 19 “Naturally Occurring Retirement Communities” in 14 states. NORC, which seeks to allow the elderly to remain in their communities, was also pioneered by UJC.
The earmarks in the bill, numbering in the thousands, have been slammed by critics of congressional pork, although defenders say earmarks – funding specified by individual Congress members – often address critical needs in communities. President Bush says he will sign the bill, but will remove some earmarks, although how is unclear. The president is still constitutionally enjoined from doing so.