Date: May 3rd, 2017
Even though the federal government has entered month SEVEN of its current fiscal year (FY 2017), the U.S. Congress is finally on the verge of passing and sending to the President FY 2017 appropriations legislation. The significant delay in Congressional action on spending for FY 2017 is an indication of continued systemic dysfunction of the legislative branch and has been the source of considerable anxiety for organizations that rely upon federal funds to support their programs and operations.
Yet, ultimately, the tardy appropriations have yielded positive fruit for sexual and reproductive health services programs of importance to Healthy Teen Network members and the youth and young adults they serve.
- Notably, the appropriations legislation being considered by Congress this week maintains funding for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) at its current funding level of $108 million.
- Also, the measure maintains funding at $33.1 million for the HIV school health initiatives of the CDC Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH).
- The measure maintains the Title X Family Planning Program at its current level of $286 million, and provides a $3.5 million increase to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant program bringing it up to $642 million.
For further information, the report language and budget table for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is available here.
Healthy Teen Network advocated on our members’ behalf for these investments, including through staff visits with Congressional offices, signing group letters led by the Sexuality Education Coalition, The National Campaign, and Family Planning Coalition, and issuing action alerts to our members. We appreciate our members for their communication with their Members of Congress in support of federal investments in our nation’s youth.
Lest we rest on our laurels, be mindful that Congress is currently developing spending legislation for FY 2018 (which starts October 1, 2017) and operating from a base budget proposed by the Trump Administration that is more harmful to health and human needs programs than the FY 2017 Obama Administration budget which served as the starting point for the final appropriations measure set to be approved by Congress later this week. Please remain in regular communication with your elected officials and their staff members and continue to remind them of the value that federal investments bring to your communities and your young people.