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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

White House, Congressional Leaders Agree to Raise Debt Ceiling, Fund Government into December

September 7, 2017 | Federal Budget | Comments
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***This post has been updated to reflect a more robust budget breakdown of the Senate Appropriations Committee approved line items***


On Wednesday, it was announced that President Trump and congressional leaders had come to an agreement on some of Capitol Hill’s most pressing issues including government funding, raising the debt ceiling and approving emergency funding for Hurricane Harvey relief. The deal will extend level funding of the federal government and an increase in the national debt ceiling through December 15. The mechanism will also allocate nearly $8 billion in Hurricane Harvey relief funds.

In a politically surprising move, President Trump made this deal with Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) over the objections of their Republican counterparts Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Both Ryan and McConnell had advocated for a clean hurricane relief package and a more robust debate on government funding and the debt ceiling.

“We essentially came to a deal, and I think the deal will be very good,” President Trump told reporters on Air Force One after convening with the top four congressional leaders at the White House.



While political leaders were negotiating plans for the immediate future, the Senate Appropriations Committee convened to consider funding priorities for FY2018. On Thursday, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved in full the Labor, HHS, Education bill that funds key health and education programs.
Of note to addiction and mental health advocates:


Program Senate Appropriations Committee Approved FY2018 Funding Approved Level vs. FY2017
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration $3.8 billion +$13 million vs. FY2017 funding
Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant $1.855 billion level funding
Community Mental Health Block Grant $562.571 million level funding
Promoting Integration of Primary and Behavioral Health Care (PIPBHC)  $49.877 million level funding
PIPBHC Training and Technical Assistance Center  $1.991 million level funding
Mental Health First Aid*
(Including new Committee report language to expand the program’s audience to include veterans and law enforcement officials)
$14.963 million level funding
Opioid Community Prevention Program $15 million new program
State Opioid Grants (Authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act) $500 million level funding
National Institutes of Health $36.1 billion +$2 billion vs. FY2017


With level-funding for the government agreed to into December, behavioral health advocates will have an incredible opportunity to voice their support for full funding of key addiction and mental health programs for the remainder of FY2018 at National Council Hill Day this October 2-3. Are you registered yet? Click here to claim your spot on the Hill.