The Senate passed a short-term continuing resolution (CR) on Wednesday, September 28 to flat-fund the government until December 9, 2016. The House quickly followed suit and the President signed the bill into law Thursday, September 29. The final includes $1.1 billion in funding to address the Zika health crisis.
The CR also includes $37 million to fund the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA), which combats the opioid crisis and passed through both chambers in July. However, due to pro-rated funding, only about $7 million will be available to implement this law during the 10 weeks of the CR. It is possible that additional funding to implement CARA will be included in the final fiscal year 2017 (FY17) spending bill.
While more than 200 members of the House signed a letter urging the Senate to take up mental health legislation before adjourning last month, the Senate did not act. The House overwhelmingly passed the Helping Families in Mental Health Crisis Act (HR 2626) in July; however, similar Senate legislation is stalled due to debate over gun-related provisions. If compromise language can be reached, the Senate bill may be considered during the lame duck session of Congress.
House and Senate leaders continue to negotiate in an attempt to secure a version of the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6) that can pass both Houses of Congress this year. Reportedly, the package currently under discussion includes significantly less mandatory funding for NIH and FDA than the $9.35 billion ($8.75 billion for NIH and $600 million for FDA) in HR 6; however, no legislative language has been made public.
Research!America’s Public Health Thank You Day (PHTYD), held annually the Monday before Thanksgiving, is planned for November 21, 2016. PHTYD is an opportunity to raise awareness about the multi-faceted role public health research and practice plays in protecting and advancing population health, and to express our deep appreciation to the women and men who work in public health at home and abroad.