ASPPH has engaged the Trump Administration related to the Federal hiring freeze and the January 31 executive order on refugees and immigrants. The Association is also preparing for the upcoming legislative fights on health insurance and the fiscal year 2017 and 2018 appropriations bills.
Many of the ASPPH’s 2016 legislative and policy initiatives will inform the Association’s 2017 advocacy efforts. Among the highlights of 2016 include the development of a white paper distributed to presidential candidates that focuses on the Association’s policy priorities, efforts to enhance the role of prevention research in the Cancer Moonshot initiative, and efforts to promote population health. The Association’s advocacy activities related to Federal appropriations continues to be a top priority as well.
Since October 1, the Federal Government has been operating under a continuing resolution that expires on December 9. Congress is expected to convene in a lame duck session after the election to finalize the fiscal year 2017 appropriations bills. ASPPH has provided the presidential candidates with a new white paper outlining the Association’s policy priorities. The Cancer Moonshot initiative has delivered their final reports.
ASPPH has released a new white paper, Academic Public Health’s Priorities For America, to the Presidential transition teams. The document focuses on advancing public health education, science, and practice as the basis of improving population health. ASPPH calls on the new Administration to make public health a national priority and advance the research, training, and action necessary to protect and promote health for all our citizens. Congress on September 28 cleared a short term Continuing Resolution to keep the government operating through December 9, 2016. The measure also provided $1.1 billion in funding to address the Zika crisis.
The Senate and House Appropriations Committees have approved differing version of the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Most of ASPPH’s legislative priorities fared well, with key program accounts funded at the same level as in FY 2016.The bill is not expected to be considered by the full House or Senate. Instead, a continuing resolution will likely be enacted to fund the covered agencies until a lame duck session after the November elections. Supplemental funding to address the Zika crisis did not clear Congress before it adjourned for the summer. The Blue Ribbon Committee created to inform the Cancer Moonshot is scheduled to report in August.
The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9 approved its version of the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill. Most of ASPPH’s legislative priorities fared well, with key program accounts funded at the same level as in FY 2016. The House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee is expected to consider its version of the bill in late June. The bill is not expected to be considered by the full House or Senate. Instead, a continuing resolution will likely be enacted to fund the covered agencies until a lame duck session after the November elections.
On February 9, President Obama released the final budget proposal of his presidency. It would provide funding for fiscal year 2017, which begins on October 1, 2016. Few expect Congress to enact regular appropriations measures before the November 8 elections, with one or more continuing resolutions needed until a post-election final bill is enacted. Many of the President’s proposed initiatives and increases would come from “mandatory spending” – spending not subject to appropriations and thus not included in the discretionary spending caps that were included in the October budget agreement.
Congress passed the final fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill on December 18th - 78 days after the start of the fiscal year and after a number of Continuing Resolutions. The advocacy efforts of ASPPH members were very successful. The so-called Omnibus Appropriations Bill provides increases in the appropriation levels for NIH (+6.6%), CDC (+4.1%), and HRSA (+0.6%). Although the bill cuts funding for AHRQ by 8.5%, the agency survived efforts by House appropriators to kill it. ASPPH’s specific program advocacy efforts were also very successful: the CDC Prevention Research Centers were funded at $25.5 million; the CDC Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness at $8.2 million; the NIOSH Education and Research Centers at $28.5 million; and the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing Centers at $25 million. In another big win, ASPPH was successful in restoring funding to the HRSA Public Health Training Centers to the FY 2015 level. The Senate had cut the program in half.
Congress cleared a Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal Government through December 11, but negotiations on a full year budget agreement have faltered due to House GOP leadership uncertainty. ASPPH’s October policy and advocacy update provides details on the current budget situation as well as on other regulatory and legislative issues of interest of ASPPH’s members.
ASPPH advocates for federal funding for accounts and programs that support public health training and research. In addition, the Association advocates on numerous related policy and regulatory matters. The September public affairs update highlights the current status of the fiscal year 2016 appropriations process, ASPPH’s advocacy coalition activities, and ASPPH’s recent comments on various regulatory proposals and other initiatives.