Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
On Tuesday, May 21, House Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell met with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, and OMB Acting Director Russell Vought to discuss raising the spending caps, or increasing the overall spending number that legislators can appropriate to, for FY20.
Parties to the discussion were hopeful that a deal would be reached by the end of the day, allowing the Senate to allocate funding to a higher level — which would be important for STD programs to receive increased funding from the Senate in FY20. However, talks came to an end Tuesday evening, with no deal in sight. Disagreements remained around non-defense domestic spending.
On Wednesday, hopes of a deal being reached quickly were curtailed when President Trump butted heads with Speaker Pelosi, and pledged not to work on any legislation with congressional Democrats. Without an agreement between Congress and the White House $126 billion in spending cuts will take effect in FY20, and the Federal Government will hit the debt limit in September or October. However, NCSD still believes a deal can be reached before then and will keep you updated on all future events.
On Wednesday, May 22, the House Appropriations Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee released their draft bill ahead of markups. The bill included $410 million for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), a $17 million increase from FY19.
On Wednesday, May 22, the House Appropriations Interior, Environment and Related Agencies subcommittee also released their draft appropriations bill. The report language included $25 million to the Indian Health Services, as was proposed by the Administration, for their efforts in ending the HIV Epidemic Initiative funding.