Volumne 12, Issue No. 1
February 4, 2014

Congressional Appropriations Process Fiscal Year (FY) 2013

Possible Continuing Resolution (CR)

Before Congress left Washington for the district work break, a deal was reportedly reached by House and Senate leaders to fund the government through March 2013 and prevent a shutdown. The House and the Senate will have to approve the compromise, before a government shutdown will be advoided in September.

The New York Times reported: “Under the agreement that takes the spending fight off the table before the presidential and Congressional elections, lawmakers have agreed to a slightly higher rate of spending: $1.047 trillion as opposed to $1.043 trillion. The level was agreed to in last year’s budget deal; some conservative Republicans had pushed to stick with the current rate or less.” 

Politico reported: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a six-month deal to continue funding the federal government through March of next year…If Congress agrees to pass a continuing resolution, it would eliminate one looming issue in the pile of unfinished business in the ‘fiscal cliff’ facing lawmakers, including whether to extend the Bush-era tax cuts for all income groups and whether to roll back $109 billion in domestic and defense spending cuts set to take place next year.”

If both chambers agree to the continuing resolution(CR), it will keep funding for Title VIII nursing education and scholarship programs at the FY 2012 levels described below.

Title VIII Funding: FY 2012

 Program  FY 2012
Advanced Education Nursing                         $63.925 million
Nurse Education, Practice, and Retention         $39.182 million
Nursing Workforce Diversity       $15.819 million  
Loan Repayment and Scholarship Program   $83.135 million  ($10 million decrease from FY 2011)
Comprehensive Geriatric Education $4.485 million
Nursing Faculty Loan Program                        $24.553 million
Subtotal, Title VIII    $231.099 million  ($10 million decrease from FY 2011)

Earlier Action in the House

On July 17th, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee passed, by a vote of 8-6, a FY 2013 draft spending bill. The bill has deeper cuts to spending than the agreed upon numbers under the Budget Control Act, passed in summer 2011. It does not include specific numbers for Title VIII programs.  That information will be included in their report, if the full Labor-HHS-Education Committee marks up a bill.  The Subcommittee proposed the termination of the Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ). Additionally, the House Subcommittee spending outline eliminates funding for the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The House Appropriations Committee did not take up the FY 2013 Labor HHS appropriations bill before they left for Congressional recess on August 6, 2012. Therefore, the Committee report, which includes a complete listing of programmatic cuts, has not been released. It was noted by the House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Norm Dicks that consideration of the bill is “postposed indefinitely” and many speculate if it will be brought before the full committee as it is a deeply controversial bill. 

With the possible deep cuts included in a House bill, the ANA supports the proposed continuing resolution and its level of funding for Title VIII nursing programs.  We are also optimistic that the Senate, which has a Democratic majority will not implement legislation to shut down AHRQ  and ACA programs’.

April Canter

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