Here's the scoop on what's happening in Federal Policy from the NCSD policy team.
On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved their FY18 Labor, Health, and Human Services (LHHS) spending bill, in a 30-1 vote.
Both chambers of Congress rejected the devastating proposal by the President to reduce funding at DSTDP by 17 percent.Stephanie Arnold Pang
This bill includes level funding (to FY17 funding levels) for the Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as well as the Division of HIV Prevention and the Division of Adolescent and School Health. This means that both chambers of Congress—both the Senate and the House of Representatives—have now rejected the devastating proposal by the President to reduce funding at DSTDP by 17 percent.
In addition, the Senate bill includes a number of sections of report language regarding STDs. Also sometimes referred to as policy rider language, report language is a way for Congress to communicate to the federal government their policy priorities and how they would like the Administration to administer certain programs. Additionally, report language is another lever for national groups like NCSD to use to encourage a conversation with parts of the federal government and to ensure they are focusing on our priorities, like STDs. This is a big win for moving forward the conversation on STDs and we look forward to ensuring that this report language gets enacted in a final FY18 funding bill.
The report language included in the Senate bill on STDs is as follows:
The next steps for this bill are somewhat unclear. The House of Representatives passed an FY18 LHHS spending bill that, while similar in its funding allocations for STDs, is very different in a number of other programs.
In immediate next steps, Congress is working on a short-term Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government after October 1. Yesterday, the Senate passed a package that includes a CR through December 8, provides $15.23 billion in hurricane relief funding and raises the debt ceiling through December. The House will take up this package, where passage is expected, later today. This package gives Congress and the White House about three months to reach consensus on the fiscal 2018 spending level, a long-term fix for the debt limit and an omnibus spending bill.
Please stay tuned, there are more steps to this process!