President Trump signed another short-term spending deal on Nov. 21. The legislation funds the federal government at the previous year’s level through Dec. 21. The government’s fiscal year began Oct. 1, and Congress passed a spending bill last month that extended funding until Nov. 21 in an effort to buy more time to come to an agreement on 2020 spending levels. Negotiations are still stalled, necessitating a second temporary extension.
Congress must pass a total of 12 appropriations bills to fund the federal government and its various programs every year. These measures are often combined in large pieces of legislation known as omnibus or “mini-bus” bills. Congress has yet to come to an agreement on any of the 12 bills for the 2020 fiscal year, and this latest extension gives them another month before they must either pass their appropriations bills or offer up another temporary deal.
NBCC has been advocating for spending increases for vital programs, such as SAMHSA’s Minority Fellowship Program and the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training (BHWET) Program, throughout this process. Despite the disagreements, we are hopeful that Congress will be able to pass permanent funding for 2020 that includes additional funding for these and other crucial programs.