Select Site 


Another Continuing Resolution Looms on the Horizon as Appropriations Struggles Continue

With the continuing resolution (CR) that is currently funding the government expiring in three weeks, House and Senate appropriators are under increasing pressure to reach an agreement on either a set of full appropriations bills, or another CR. Given the wide gulf between the House and Senate appropriations bills and the amount of time being devoted to impeachment proceedings, it is expected that a new CR will be signed that would keep the government funded and running at last year's spending levels, although the length of that CR is still uncertain. Privately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12) through as late as March 2020. With that being said, appropriators in Congress are still working diligently.

On Thursday, the Senate managed to pass the four-bill minibus that included the Agriculture-FDA, Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD (T-HUD) bills, which includes funding for the HOPWA program that supports housing for low-income people living with HIV. Unfortunately, Senate appropriators have drastically shortchanged the HOPWA program, funding it at $330 million, a $63 million cut from last year and $80 million less than in the House's T-HUD appropriations bill. If you want to tell Congress that HIV housing is healthcare and that ending the HIV epidemic in the US requires significant investment in HOPWA, fill out AIDS United's housing action alert here.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said he remains hopeful a compromise can be found in the coming weeks as they continue work on advancing the federal appropriations process. However, there are still many potential stumbling blocks.

There is still no compromise between the House and Senate on the allocations for each appropriations bill, and talks are continuously stalled by the ongoing impeachment inquiry and the exact same issue that prompted the last shutdown: money for the president’s long-sought border wall. As last year’s budget battles and their triggering of the longest government shutdown in American history have shown, the funding for the federal government is very much hanging in the balance.

It is very likely that Republicans will continue pushing for Trump’s wall request, but it appears as if Democrats are committed to fighting the plan, in large part because it threatens to take money from popular social programs funded by a labor, health and education (Labor-HHS) bill. The Labor-HHS appropriations bill determines the funding levels for many of the domestic HIV programs on which more than half a million people living with HIV rely.

If legislators agree to a long-term CR, new funding for HIV programs – proposed in the Administration’s Ending the HIV Epidemic: A Plan for America initiative to end the epidemic within the decade – would not be included. It is vital that Congress include an anomaly, or a carve-out increase for specified programs, for this new funding so EtE work can truly begin.

Determination of fiscal year 2020 funding is critical. AIDS United will continue to urge Congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to complete its work in an orderly fashion to fund the government for the entire fiscal year so agencies funding domestic HIV programs can strategically continue their work without any interruptions. Join us in telling Congress to prioritize ending the HIV epidemic by providing robust funding for HIV-related programs.

Check back to the Policy Update frequently for all the latest on HIV appropriations and policy.

Posted By: AIDS United, Policy Department - Friday, November 01, 2019

comment Comments (0)

Type the code below into the textbox.

No comments added!

An AIDS-Free Generation
is possible.

We can't get there without you.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation today.

Thank you for contacting DC Web Designers. We will be in touch shortly.

ERROR: Message Not Sent!