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YES DHPE, There is an Omnibus Bill!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014   (0 Comments)
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Dear DHPE Members,

Good news always travels fast! So perhaps you have heard that appropriators introduced an omnibus package for FY 2014 and—miracle of miracles—the package includes all 12 appropriations bills including Labor-H! It’s an actual bill—our first since FY 2012. It restores stability to our programs, and sets the stage for regular order in FY 2015. At a macro level, all public health agencies saw increases—showing a bipartisan recognition that investment in the full public health continuum is necessary to improve health

DHPE applauds the efforts of our Congressional champions and your work back home. Also DHPE recognizes the vital work of the Coalition for Health Funding including NDD United for tirelessly speaking on behalf of all those communities served and supported by public health across this country.

Here are just a few excerpts about the omnibus funding bill:

Ø The Labor-HHS-Education 302(b) allocation is $156.8 billion, which is $7 billion above the post-sequester FY13 spending level and $2 billion above the enacted FY13 level. While this increase is a full restoration of Labor-HHS’s sequestration cuts, some of this funding was needed to pay for other "must fund” programs in the bill. That means that on average, there’s about 40 percent sequestration relief provided to other programs in the bill.

Ø $1 billion has been appropriated for the Prevention and Public Health Fund in 2014. Of that amount, the vast majority, $831 million, will go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Additionally, $62 million will go to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), $35 million will go to other programs within the Department of Health and Human Services, and $72 million has been lost due to sequestration.

Ø The bill doubles funding for state-level diabetes, heart disease and stroke prevention programs; boosts funding for the CDC’s Office of Smoking and Health; and creates new Community Prevention Grants to help communities build multi-sector partnerships to improve community health. The spending bill also restores funding for the CDC’s Healthy Homes program for lead poisoning prevention and increases funds for a national reporting system that tracks violent deaths.

To read more about the details all in one place, for the legislation click here, and for a copy of the explanatory statement that includes funding summary tables, click here.

What happens next? Congress has passed a short-term continuing resolution providing stop-gap funding through Saturday to allow time for the House and Senate to review and vote on this agreement later in the week.With regard to how the omnibus funding bill will move through Congress, a lot remains to be seen including rules on amendments and a timeline for moving the bill. The House is scheduled to vote on the omnibus appropriations bill tomorrow and the Senate is expected to approve it by the end of the week.

The White House has already lent their support to the omnibus package issuing the following Statement of Administration Policy (SAP): The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 3547, making appropriations for fiscal year 2014, and for other purposes. The legislation adheres to the funding levels agreed to in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013, and reflects compromise by both parties. It unwinds some of the damaging cuts caused by sequestration, ensures the continuation of critical services that the American people depend on, and invests in essential areas such as education, infrastructure, manufacturing, and scientific research, which contribute to growing the economy, creating jobs, and strengthening the middle class. Further, H.R. 3547 is a positive step forward that helps return the budget process to regular order. The Administration urges swift passage of the legislation.

What can you do? You can help by thanking your members of Congress for their work disentangling the cuts caused by sequestration and ensuring the continuation of critical public health services. Along with this correspondence, you can explain what that means for health promotion programs and populations you serve in your states and communities. Attached is a letter from the Coalition for Health Funding (of which DHPE is a member) that might provide ideas and language for your communication. For assistance, contact Donna Nichols, DHPE Director of Health Policy and Partnerships at or call 512-507-4933.

2014/2015 Board-Approved DHPE Funding Priorities Include:

Ø Preserving the Prevention and Public Health Fund in the Affordable Care Act with core funding for all states.

Ø Preserving Basic and Enhanced State Chronic Disease funding.

Ø Preserving the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant funding.

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