On Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Congress sent a short-term fiscal year (FY) 2016 funding bill to the President. The Continuing Resolution (CR) was signed by President Obama with only hours to spare before the FY 2015 federal government funding deadline, extending federal funding through December 11, 2015. The CR includes a 0.21% across-the-board cut on programs for the ten weeks of funding. The long-term impacts of this slight rescission on the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program (TPPP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Adolescent and School Health (DASH) is unknown until final FY 2016 is determined.
Though both the Senate and the House attempted to advance a CR with provisions to defund Planned Parenthood, these efforts ultimately failed in relation to the short-term funding bill. The attacks on Planned Parenthood are expected to continue through the fall and will be a key point of contention within final FY 2016 funding, the budget reconciliation process, and longer-term budget deal negotiations.
The Administration, Senate, and House leadership have begun negotiations regarding raising the budget caps currently in place due to the Budget Control Act of 2011. In addition to the short timeline to reach a deal, there are other challenges. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew alerted Congress of the need to address the federal debt limit by November 5, 2015 or risk defaulting on the nation’s debt. The Administration has indicated that negotiating over raising the debt limit is a non-starter, and the President has stated he will not sign another short-term funding bill, nor any measure that defunds Planned Parenthood. The House Republicans are in the midst of their own caucus leadership elections with the unexpected resignation of Speaker John Boehner (R-OH-8) at the end of October. Additionally, both a long-term highway funding bill as well as tax breaks extensions are also on Congress’ agenda.
SIECUS will continue to provide updates as Congress nears its next funding deadline and share opportunities for partners to voice your support for critical TPPP and DASH funding in FY 2016. For more information or questions, please contact Jesse Boyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.