Congress successfully passed a two-year bipartisan budget deal in the early morning hours today which will be signed into law by President Obama. In addition to raising the debt limit through March 2017, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 increases defense and domestic spending by $80 billion above current sequestration funding levels through fiscal year 2017. However, the agreement does not completely eliminate the sequestration caps. Though a huge relief for non-defense discretionary spending, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that such spending remains historically low, with the current 2016 funding level 12% lower than in fiscal year 2010.
While the Prevention and Public Health Fund will continue to be impacted by the extension of an existing sequester on mandatory spending, the Fund was not used as an offset as part of the budget deal. However, the budget reconciliation bill is still in motion, having passed the House on October 23. The bill’s chances in the Senate remain uncertain, but the President did release a Statement of Administration Policy threatening to veto the bill should it reach his desk.
With a budget deal in place, lawmakers must now turn their attention back to funding for federal programs and agencies. The current funding structure, a continuing resolution that was put in place hours before a government shutdown on September 30, is set to expire on December 11.
Stay tuned for more updates on federal funding developments, including the Prevention and Public Health Fund, and for opportunities to advocate for community prevention programs and funding.