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Latest News: Public Health News

FY2020 Funding Update - From NACCHO Gov't Affairs

Sunday, November 3, 2019  
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This week, the Senate took action to try and kickstart its appropriations process ahead of the November 21 deadline.The Senate passed a $214 billion spending package that includes 4 of the 12 funding bills:the FY2020 Agriculture bill,the Commerce-Justice-Science bill,the Interior-Environment bill,and the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bill.

While much of the federal funding for public health programs is in the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill,thefunding for some nutrition programs and theFood and Drug Administration(FDA)is actually included in the Agriculture bill.TheSenate-passed Agriculture appropriations bill included$3.1 billion in discretionary funding for the FDA, $80 million over the FY2019 enacted level.The bill also provides the following for food and nutrition programs.

  • Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) ?– $6 billion in discretionary funding for WIC, which is $75 million below the FY2019 enacted level. This amount is based on USDA estimates of WIC enrollments and will provide benefits for all eligible participants.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) – $69.163 billion in required mandatory spending, which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Senate Appropriations Committee. Due to declining enrollment, this is $4.3 billion below last year's level.
  • Child Nutrition Programs – $23.6 billion in required mandatory funding, which is outside the discretionary funding jurisdiction of the Senate Appropriations Committee. This funding will provide meals for an estimated 31 million children.

Shortly after the passage of this package,a vote failed to get enough support to take up four additional spending bills—including the Labor, HHS, and Education bill, as well as bills to fund Defense, State and Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water priorities.This was expected as disagreements continue over funding for a boarder wall and other controversial priorities. Potentially more hopeful news came out of meetings this week between appropriations staff and leadership from Congress and the White House on a final resolution to disputes over top-line amounts for FY2020 funding. There are several areas of disagreement that need to be ironed out before final bills move forward. The House spending bills were passed before the bipartisan budget deal in July that set final fiscal 2020 spending caps and are nearly $20 billion above the Senate's for nondefense discretionary programs. NACCHO has consistently advocated for funding for priorities that impact the public's health.