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With One Week Until The Government Runs Out of Funding, Congress Agrees in Principle to Overall Spending Numbers

In an unexpected progression of the fiscal year 2020 (FY20) appropriations process, appropriations leadership on both sides of the aisle announced a “deal in principle” for all twelve annual funding bills on Thursday. While specific details of this funding agreement, including those concerning public health programming, may not be available until early next week, the deal is certainly welcome news and brings legislators closer to funding the federal government ahead of the current continuing resolution deadline of December 20th.

Key appropriations legislators, Congressional leadership, and White House staff agreed on a topline number of $1.37 trillion to fund the federal government in FY20; administration involvement in this week’s discussions bolster the likelihood that President Trump will sign the deal to avoid a government shutdown, even as House Democrats draft the articles of his impeachment. 

The agreement was reached during a particularly congenial week in Congress—impeachment proceedings notwithstanding—with Republicans and Democrats coming together to pass other significant legislation including the annual defense authorization bill, a U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, and a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

As exemplified by border wall funding, it seems that Democrats gave some concessions in terms of the administration’s inhumane immigration policies and plans, though not as much as the White House might have expected. As CQ Roll Call notes: “Appropriators plan to give the Trump administration $1.375 billion for border barrier construction, significantly less than the $5 billion the White House hoped to receive in new funding... Congress also will not backfill $3.6 billion in military construction funds that the White House diverted earlier this year to the border wall, [though] Trump will be able to retain his ability to transfer funding from Pentagon accounts to the border wall.” It is yet to be seen what gains Democrats might have gotten for other important policy & funding priorities in exchange for softening their original line of intending “to offer zero dollars for Trump’s wall” earlier this year. 

AIDS United will continue to report on FY20 appropriations activity and work with allies in Congress to ensure the full and timely dispersion of funds for communities working to end the domestic HIV epidemic. Check back to the Policy Update for the latest on all things HIV funding & policy.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, December 13, 2019

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