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Monthly Briefing

Monthly Briefing

June 2016 Monthly Briefing

The Bottom Line

  • The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9 approved its version of the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.
  • The Senate panel provided a $2 Billion increase for NIH over the FY 2016 level.
  • The Committee funded the CDC Prevention Research Centers, the NIOSH Education and Research Centers, the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF) Centers, and the HRSA Public Health Training Centers at the FY 2016 level.
  • The appropriations is not expected to be considered by the full House or Senate. A continuing resolution will likely be enacted to fund the covered agencies until a lame duck session after the November elections.

What’s New

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves the FY 2017 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee on June 9 approved the fiscal year 2017 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill. The bill (S. 3040) and report (Senate Rept. 114-274) are now available on-line. The measure was approved by the subcommittee on June 7 by a unanimous vote. There was only one vote in opposition at the full committee mark-up. The bill allocates $161.9 billion in discretionary spending, $270 million below the FY 2016 level. It is the first bipartisan Labor-HHS bill to clear the subcommittee and committee in seven years. The bill includes no “poison pill riders” according to Senators Roy Blunt (R-MO) and Patty Murray (D-WA), the chair and ranking member of the subcommittee.

In its summary, the Senate Appropriations Committee said the bill, across accounts, provides $261 million for opioid abuse initiatives, an increase of $126 million or 94 percent. The panel also said that funding for domestic HIV/AIDS prevention and research was level funded at $778.7 million. The panel provided $626 million for efforts to combat antibiotic resistant bacteria, an increase of $53 million or 9.2 percent.  The bill fully allocates the ACA’s Prevention and Public Health Fund ($931M) to various CDC, SAMHSA, and Administration for Community Living (ACL) programs.

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.

The Senate Appropriations Committee-approved bill includes the following allocations related to ASPPH’s priority accounts:

National Institutes of Health:

FY 2017         Senate           $34.084B       (+$2.0B)         (+6.3%)

FY 2016         Enacted        $32.084B      

(program level funding)

The Senate panel provides a $2B increase for NIH over the FY 2016 level. The President proposed a program level increase of $825M for NIH in FY 2017, but also requested that $1.825B of the NIH appropriation come from mandatory spending not subject to appropriations. None of the funds approved by the Senate panel come from mandatory spending. The Senate bill includes $333.4M for the Institutional Development Award (IDeA) program, an increase of $60M (+22%). The panel also provided an additional $100M for the Precision Medicine Initiative (to $300M or +50%), $250M for the BRAIN initiative (+$100M or +66%), and $1.4B for Alzheimer’s research (+$400M or +40%). The PMI funds include $70M to the National Cancer Institute and $230M for the PMI Cohort initiative.

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s report on the bill estimates that the funding level will allow for 11,200 new and competing research grants, an increase of 4.2 percent. The bill maintains the salary cap at Executive Level II (currently $185,100).

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

FY 2017         Senate           $7.115B         (-$118M)        (-1.6%)

FY 2016         Enacted        $7.233B

(program level funding)

Prevention Research Centers (PRCs): The Senate panel provides $25.461M for the Prevention Research Centers, the same amount the program received in FYs 2015 and 2016 and the amount recommended by the President.

Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness: The Senate panel did not fund the preparedness centers in FY 2017. The Administration, which also did not propose funding for the program, told Congress, “The FY 2017 budget request reflects the elimination of the Academic Centers for Public Health Preparedness. CDC will continue to support research and training for public health preparedness through the public health preparedness and response research agenda. Eliminating funding for these centers allows CDC to prioritize funding for state and local health departments through the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) cooperative agreement.” The Centers received $8.2M in FY 2016.

NIOSH Education and Research Centers and the NIOSH Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing (AFF): The Senate bill level funds both sets of NIOSH centers. The Education and Research Centers receive $28.5M in funding and the AFF program receives $25M. The Administration had proposed not to fund the two center programs.

Workplace Wellness: The Senate panel provided no funding for the CDC’s Workplace Wellness program or NIOSH’s Total Worker Health Program. However, during the committee mark-up language was added to the committee report expressing strong support for the Total Worker Health Program.

Other CDC Provisions of Note:   CDC has made available a detailed table on how the Senate panel’s bill will affect all CDC funding lines. Of special note:

Health Resources and Services Administration

FY 2017         Senate           $6.402B         (-$32M)          (-0.5%)

FY 2016         Enacted        $6.434B

(program level funding)

Public Health Training Centers: The Senate panel approved the President’s request of $17M for the Public Health Workforce budget line in FY 2017, compared to the $21M enacted in FY 2016. Of that amount, the Senate panel said that the funds should be allocated as requested by the Administration: $9.864M for the Public Health Training Centers, the same amount the program received in FY 2016. The Administration proposed consolidating the Preventive Medicine and Integrative Medicine residency programs and to fund them at $7.136M in FY 2017, down $4 million from last year’s level. The Senate panel accepted that recommendation.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

FY 2017         Senate           $324M            (-$10M)          (-3.0%)

FY 2016         Enacted        $334M

(program level funding)

AHRQ receives additional funding from the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund. In FY 2017, funding from the Trust Fund is estimated to be $106M.

Previous Month's Briefings

February 2016 Monthly Briefing

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.

Read more

December 2015 Monthly Briefing

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.

Read more

October 2015 Monthly Briefing

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.

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