Congress Breaks For August Recess

Congress Breaks for August Recess: Where Things Stand

As of Aug. 1, both the House and Senate will be in recess until after Labor Day, so we want to update you on where things stand in some key areas:

Appropriations/Budget

Before adjourning, Congress passed an updated budget agreement that sets top-line funding levels for the next two fiscal years, raises the budget caps, and eliminates the threat of sequestration to discretionary programs! This is a huge victory that removes a great deal of uncertainty for funding levels and will enable Congress to proceed on finalizing appropriations bills for fiscal year (FY) 2020. 

While the House has already completed the bulk of its appropriations work, the Senate will now get to work on its own appropriations bills. The Labor-Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) bill, which is where funding for Title V MCH Block Grant and most other key maternal and child health programs reside, is slated to be one of the first bills on deck. As a reminder, the Title V MCH Block Grant was funded at $712 million (a $34 million increase over FY 2019) in the House FY 2020 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. However, the final budget agreement provided a lower overall amount of funding than the House bill included, which means we might see slightly lower numbers in the final FY 2020 appropriations bill.

TAKE ACTION: It’s never too late to reach out to your senators and representatives to let them know you support the $712 million level of funding provided to Title V in the House bill and to urge that level of funding in the final FY 2020 Appropriations bill! 

Reauthorizations

Several critical MCH programs in need of reauthorization have progressed through Congress in recent weeks; AMCHP was proud to endorse them and see their passage! For those that have only been passed so far by the House of Representatives, we will keep you posted on anticipated movement in the Senate during September.

Passed into law:                                                            Passed by the House:

Emergency Medical Services for Children                Newborn Screening Saves Lives

Family-to-Family Health Information Centers        Autism CARES Act

 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to AMCHP’s Government Affairs team with any questions: Amy Haddad ahaddad@amchp.org or Alyson Northrup anorthrup@amchp.org –and have a great rest of your summer!