This post was written by Danielle Heiberg, Senior Manager, Policy & Advocacy, and Victoria Rodriguez, Advocacy Associate.
OMB Rescinds Prospective Rescissions Package
After considerable push-back, the administration did not send a newly proposed rescissions package to Congress. The package was expected to target appropriated but unobligated funding from the International Affairs budget. Although global health programs were not expected to be targeted, the proposed cuts to other development areas, including UN programs, would have had an impact across the development community. If the rescissions package had been sent to Congress, it was unclear if the administration had legal authority to do so, as it would have been released with fewer than 45 days remaining in the fiscal year. While it seems that there will not be another push to rescind funding in the remaining days of this fiscal year, we should expect the administration to continue to target the International Affairs budget.
Last week, the House returned from August recess and in the short time remaining before the end of the fiscal year (FY), Congress will continue work on FY 2019 appropriation bills. Congress hopes to pass nine of the 12 spending bills as “minibuses” – several spending bills packaged together – this month. It will need to pass a Continuing Resolution (CR) to keep the remaining agencies open. A CR is expected to last until after the midterm elections, but could go until December. . While President Trump has threatened to shut down the government over funding for a border wall, he has backed off on carrying out this threat until after the elections. The State and Foreign Operations (SFOPs) appropriations bill, which funds global health programs at USAID and the State Department, is not expected to pass this month.
In late August, the Senate passed a minibus that includes the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill – which contains funding for programs at NIH and CDC– and Defense. The bill is now in the House of Representatives for a vote, and GOP conferees who will participate in the conference committee to negotiate any differences have recently been announced.
While FY 2019 appropriations are being finalized, GHC is working with the global health advocacy community to complete funding recommendations for FY 2020 for review by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The global health advocacy community is urging the U.S. to remain committed to investing in and supporting critical, cost-effective global health programs.
Looking Ahead to the 116th Congress
With the midterm elections just around the corner, GHC has started preparations for the 116th Congress and the new members and staff expected to arrive on Capitol Hill in January. GHC, in coordination with the global health advocacy community, is working on the next version of the Global Health Briefing Book, which will launch at an event on Capitol Hill early next year. More details will be forthcoming, and we hope you will join us for the Hill Day and global health expo planned for the launch. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org.