Advocacy Update ~ February 19, 2019


Appropriations Update

FY 2019 Spending Package Passed

On Thursday, a day before the latest Continuing Resolution was set to expire, Congress passed a spending package that includes the remaining seven appropriations bills and funds the government until September 30, 2019. This bipartisan compromise includes $56.1 billion for the International Affairs Budget, a slight increase of $193 million. President Trump signed the spending package Friday afternoon, after declaring a national emergency in order to secure funding for a border wall.

Congress once again rejected the deep cuts to foreign assistance proposed in President Trump’s budget. Global health programs at USAID and the State Department received a small increase of $147.4 million compared to FY 2018. Of note, the following accounts were increased:

-Maternal and Child Health: $5.5 million increase to $835 million
-Nutrition: $20 million increase to $145 million
-Vulnerable Children: $1 million increase to $24 million
-Neglected Tropical Diseases: $2.5 million increase to $102.5 million
-PEPFAR: $50 million increase to $4.37 million
-WASH: $35 million increase to $435 million

Global health security received $140 million of which $40 million is a transfer from the remaining unspent Ebola Emergency Supplemental. The total also includes $2 million for the Emergency Reserve Fund, which now stands at $100 million. While $172.5 million was appropriated for global health security last year, that included $100 million from the Ebola Emergency Supplemental. So while, it appears funding has gone down, “base” funding has increased from $72.5 million to $100 million.

Key Resources: 

-GHC funding chart
-Conference Report
-Joint Explanatory Statement
-Division-by-Division Summary

FY 2020: President’s Budget and Sequestration

Due to the government shutdown, the President’s budget, which is normally released by first Monday in February, is delayed until the week of March 11. It is expected that only the administration’s priorities and summary tables will be released that week, with more background material released the week of March 18. It is expected that the administration will again recommend steep cuts to the International Affairs Budget.

FY 2020 will see the return of sequestration, automatic spending cuts, unless Congress can reach a new budget deal to lift spending caps on defense and non-defense discretionary spending. If spending caps are not raised, defense would see an across-the-board cut of 11% and 9% for non-defense programs.


Updates on 116th Congress

Full committee assignments were announced. View a list of the key committee memberships.

Global HER Act Reintroduced

On February 8, the Global Health, Empowerment, and Rights (Global Her) Act was introduced in the House by Congresswoman Nita Lowey (D-NY) and in the Senate by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). The bill would permanently repeal the Mexico City Policy (also known as the Global Gag Rule), which denies federal funding to foreign nongovernmental organizations for abortion care and services, even if the organization uses a different funding source to support this work. The bill is supported by 150 House members and 45 Senate members, including two Republicans: Senators Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK).

Read Congresswoman Lowey’s press release and Senator Shaheen’s press release.


State of the Union Address

President Trump delivered the State of the Union Address on February 5. In the address, the President announced his plan to eliminate new HIV infections in the U.S. by 2030. The proposal includes a focus on 48 communities in the U.S. with the highest burden. Although admirable, the global health community knows that eliminating HIV is not possible without a comprehensive plan to reduce incidence rates globally.


Launch of the Global Health Briefing Book

As a reminder, Global Health Council will launch the 2019 Global Health Briefing Book on Wednesday, February 27! Join us in the Rayburn Gold Room for our global health expo from 5-7 pm. RSVP here.

 

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

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