Advocacy Update ~ March 12, 2018

This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Policy & Advocacy Manager, and Melissa Chacko, Policy Associate.


Are we Nearing a Vote on a Final Bill for FY18?

As we get closer to March 23, when the current Continuing Resolution (CR) expires, it seems that Congress is close to voting on a final spending package for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2018. We are hearing that the spending bill will be released on March 14 and the House of Representatives will vote on it shortly thereafter. This will give the Senate about a week to vote on the legislation in order to avoid another government shutdown.

The topline numbers, known as 302b, for each spending bill have not been released, so at this time we still don’t know how the International Affairs budget, and therefore the Global Health Programs at State and USAID, will fare.

As Congress finalizes FY18 appropriations and starts on the FY19 appropriations process, it is prime time for the global health community to advocate on Capitol Hill for maintaining robust global health funding. Global Health Council created a graphic with a list of “Hill Days” when the community is advocating on Capitol Hill. View the graphic.

Tentative Hearing Schedule Released

Originally scheduled for late February, the hearings to discuss the FY19 budget with Secretary Rex Tillerson and Administrator Mark Green were rescheduled to mid-March in both the House Foreign Affairs and Senate Foreign Relations Committees. At this time, hearings before the Appropriations committees have not been set.

Tentative dates are:

Secretary Tillerson:
-Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Thursday, March 15 – 10:00 am
-House Foreign Affairs Committee – Tuesday, March 20 – 9:30 am

Administrator Mark Green:
-Senate Foreign Relations Committee – Tuesday, March 20 – TBD
-House Foreign Affairs Committee – Wednesday, March 21 – 9:30 am

Representative Smith Introduces Cardiovascular Disease Resolution

At the end of February, Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced H.Res.752, a resolution recognizing the rise of cardiovascular disease (CVD) as the world’s leading cause of preventable death and disability. The resolution calls on the Department of State, USAID, and CDC to comprehensively examine the impact of CVDs on health and development in U.S. priority assistance countries. It also calls for the development of a coordinated strategy by integrating CVD into existing programs. Read the resolution.