Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
On Thursday, the Senate voted to approve the Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) by a vote of 67-28. The BBA prevents a harmful 10 percent cut to nondefense discretionary programs and increases funding to these programs by $27 billion over the current levels. This is the funding pool that funds CDC and federal STD prevention efforts. The bill now heads to President Trump’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.
Since the BBA was approved, Senate appropriators will begin moving the FY20 budget process forward after their return from August recess. Senate Appropriations Chair Richard Shelby (AL) indicated that the first package of bills may be a three-bill minibus, which is a bundling of separate spending bills into one to expedite the approval process. The bill will include Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS), (which determines STD funding) Energy & Water, and Defense. Senator Shelby hopes that engaging last year’s strategy of pairing the LHHS and Defense bills will repeat the successful passing of the minibus quickly.
It is unclear whether the Senate will be able to pass all 12 spending bills before the October 1 fiscal year deadline, meaning a continuing resolution may be utilized for the remaining bills. However, NCSD remains hopeful the LHHS minibus will be passed before the deadline and will continue to monitor and update members as progress is made.