Advocacy Update ~ January 15, 2018

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager.

It’s a New Year but Still No Budget Deal

Congress returned to Capitol Hill at the start of the year to take up where they had left off: how to raise spending caps for defense and nondefense discretionary spending. Raising the spending caps is needed to avoid sequestration, or automatic, across-the-board spending cuts that are set to take effect later this month. Without the budget deal, appropriators have been unable to complete Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 spending bills. Just before recessing in December, Congress passed a fourth Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the government operating; the current CR expires at midnight on January 19.

According to The Hill, at last week’s GOP conference meeting House leadership seemed “optimistic” that a budget agreement was within reach and that the chamber would consider another CR this week to avoid a government shutdown and give appropriators time to work on a final spending package. The exact length of the CR has not been determined but is expected to last until mid-February.

In early January The Hill featured an op-ed by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Advocacy Manager at GHC, and Courtney Carson, Policy and Advocacy Officer at Global Health Technologies Coalition, on why investments in global health, as well as defense, are both critical to keeping Americans safe.

Meanwhile…Focus Turns to FY19

While we await the final spending package for FY18, the global health community is also turning its attention to the release of the President’s Budget for FY19, which is expected on February 5 or 6. Last year President Trump proposed drastic cuts to global health programs at the State Department, USAID, NIH and CDC, and it’s expected that the recommendations could be even lower for the coming fiscal year. The President’s Budget may also provide the first glimpse of the administration’s plans for “redesign,” or restructuring, of federal agencies. (Read more on the redesign process.)

When the President’s Budget is released, GHC will send out an advocacy update along with the recommending funding levels for key global health accounts. Read the recommendations and justifications for FY19 submitted by GHC to OMB.