Here's what's happening this week in Congress
When Members of Congress return to Capitol Hill after the elections, they will have 14 working days to pass the remaining seven federal spending bills before the current continuing resolution expires on December 7th. The limited number of days available to pass the spending bills will be even more challenged by partisan fighting that usually happens when politicians enter a legislative period after a new congress has been elected, but are yet to begin their term, otherwise known as “lame duck”. We will keep you updated once we learn more. This “partial” government shutdown should not impact funding for the Department of Health and Human Services (including CDC) because HHS funding for fiscal year 2019 was passed into law in September. This could impact other funding, however, such as funding for the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program, which is funded through the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development funding bill.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has released its new strategic plan for FY2019-2023. This plan identifies priorities for the administration to work on over the next five years. While STDs are not specifically mentioned, the following areas are highlighted: combating the opioid crisis, and other substance abuses, through prevention, treatment and recovery services; addressing serious mental illness; improving data collection, analysis, and dissemination, strengthening health practitioner training and education.