Here's the scoop on what's happening this week in Congress.
We have a budget deal! While it was a bit of a nail biter, late last night, the Senate passed a new continuing resolution, which provides funding for the government until March 23, and also included new top-line funding numbers for both defense and non-defense spending for both fiscal year (FY) 2018 (the current year) and fiscal year 2019. The House passed the bill early this morning and the President quickly signed it. The legislative language can be read here as well as a Senate summary here.
This budget deal is the largest funding increase to non-defense funding in years and was a key first step to NCSD’s work to secure additional federal STD prevention funding. But it is only the first step! This deal means that the 12 appropriations bills (including Labor, Health and Human Services, which funds the CDC) will likely have additional money to allocate across their programs, but exactly how much additional funding it yet to be determined. NCSD will be working with partners to ensure that the Labor, Health and Humans Services bill that allocates funds to CDC receives as much additional money as possible and, of course, advocating for additional STD prevention funding! Congressional staff now has six weeks to finalize FY2018 funding.
Now is when decisions are being made about funding, and your voice is needed! On your personal time, please visit our new Take Action Center to send a letter to Congress.
The President’s budget proposal for FY19 is expected to be released on Monday, February 12. Rumor is that the release will be only a “skinny budget” meaning that it will not include the supporting detailed budget documents and congressional justifications. What does that mean? Well, it means Monday’s budget release may not have an STD-specific number or it may come later in the month. Stay tuned! (And a reminder- the President’s Budget request does not have the force of law, but is only his suggestion of how federal funding should be allocated.)