Congress Passes FY12 CR;Committees Recommend Labor, HHS Appropriations

Congress Passes FY12 CR;Committees Recommend Labor, HHS Appropriations

This week, nearing the September 30th conclusion of the Federal Fiscal Year, the Senate passed a new continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through November 18thMeanwhile, the House and Senate Appropriation Committees have respectively released recommendations on a FY12 Labor HHS appropriation bills.

FY12 Continuing Resolutions
Before the House recessed last week, the body passed a continuing resolution to fund the government through November 18th.  However, with disagreement regarding FEMA funding, the Senate rejected the measure.  This week, nearing the September 30th conclusion of the Federal Fiscal Year, the Senate passed a new continuing resolution (CR) that would fund the government through November 18th, similar to a measure passed by the House except for a change to FEMA funding in light of new information that FEMA would be able to financially maintain operations through the end of the week..  The new CR will be voted on by the House when it returns to session.  With the House in recess, another short term CR through October 4 was passed by the Senate The House agreed to the October 4 CR via a unanimous consent agreement on September 29th to prevent a government shutdown  Therefore, the body would have to take up the situation again next week. 

FY2012 Labor, HHS Appropriation Bills
Federal legislators have not completed work on the 12 appropriations bills.  However, last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee issued a press release providing their version of a FY12 Labor, HHS bill.  The Senate panel’s recommendations include providing a net increase of $200 million for the Health Center program.  This would be completed by a combination of maintaining fiscal year 2011-level discretionary appropriation of about $1.58B, and maintaining the PPACA 2010-created Health Center Fund mandatory spending allocation of $1.2B.   The Senate Committee report states that this would provide for base grant adjustments and an expansion of Health Centers which NACHC states would provide for an additional 1.5 million patients.

On September 29th, the House Appropriation Committee released their draft version of a FY12 Labor, HHS bill.  For Health Centers, the bill provided a net stand still appropriation from FY11 and includes language to ensure that no Health Centers would close.  The House version would accomplish the spending level by increasing the discretionary appropriation by close by $995M and eliminating the $1.2B Health Center Fund mandatory spending appropriation.