As Shutdown Deadline Draws Near, Appropriators Continue Work on Funding Levels
With another government shutdown deadline looming, congressional appropriators are continuing to hammer out line-item funding levels for fiscal year 2016. While an omnibus spending package is expected, debate over whether to allow individual policy amendments to remain on a comprehensive funding measure is stalling progress. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) has stated he is open to including “riders” on final legislation, while House Democrats have strongly opposed such additions. Remember, in order for the President to approve funding legislation, the House and Senate appropriations packages must be identical.
Last week, the National Council sent a letter to the leadership of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees urging support of higher funding for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education appropriation bills. The Mental Health Liaison Group – a coalition of mental health advocacy organizations – sent a similar letter as well. The short-term funding measure expires December 11.