Issues / Legislation

Week Ending August 2, 2019

Congress Ready for August Recess; To Return Sept. 9

Legislation Lifting Budget Caps Passes Congress

Following an agreement last week between congressional leaders and the White House on a budget deal for the 2020 and 2021 fiscal years, the House and the Senate have each voted to approve the legislation. The bill now heads to the president’s desk for his signature. The agreement will increase spending on nondefense discretionary programs from $597 billion in 2019 to $621.5 billion in 2020 and $626.5 billion in 2021. 

What You Need to Know: Now that Congress has approved legislation determining the total level of spending, it still needs to pass the annual spending bills that will determine exactly how much money goes to each specific federal program. AFSCME will be fighting to ensure that the programs most important to supporting the work of AFSCME members receive a fair share of federal funds.

Funding for Mental Health Clinics Goes to President

In an important move for AFSCME behavioral health workers, both the House and the Senate passed a short-term extension of the Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC) demonstration program through Sept. 13, funded by an extra $60 million.  The bill, a Senate version of H.R. 3253, now goes to the president for his signature.

What You Need to Know: Funding for services provided by AFSCME members at Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics lapsed and will now be restored. This September, AFSCME will continue to press Congress to extend funding for the CCBHC program for two years.