Legislative Alerts


President Signs Bill to Fund Most of Federal Government Through FY15

Dec. 17, 2014

Last night, the president signed the FY 2015 appropriations spending bill, commonly referred to as the "Crominbus" for "continuing resolution" (CR) and "omnibus" package, averting a government shutdown and funding the majority of the federal government through September 2015. The bill totals $1.013 trillion in spending, which is nearly identical to the top-line 2014 level of $1.012 trillion. Since Oct. 1, the federal government had been funded through a continuing resolution at the FY 2014 spending levels, with a limited number of exceptions, including an additional $88 million for Ebola response activities at CDC, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), and NIH.

The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill was one of the most difficult to complete and negotiations were kept private. The House never released its version of the bill and the Senate version was released by Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) but not marked up in committee. The FY 2015 Labor-HHS bill is funded at $156.8 billion, identical to the FY 2014 level, and includes $30 billion at NIH and $6.9 billion at CDC.

Some of the public health successes in the spending package include:

  • $6.9 billion for CDC, which is $21 million more than the 2014 enacted level.
  • A restoration of the Preventive Health and Health Services Block grant to $160 million for the second consecutive year.
  • An increase of $8 million for CDC's food safety program.

The following table shows how ASTHO's advocacy priorities will be funded for FY 15, as well as other public health programs of interest:

(Dollars in thousands)

Program FY 2014 FY 2015 President FY 2015
FY 2015 Final Omnibus
Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant $160,000 $0 $160,000 $160,000
National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program $35,000 $24,000 $35,000 $35,000
Section 317 Immunization Program and Program Operations $612,000 $560,000 $674,000 $610,847
Public Health Emergency Preparedness Cooperative Agreements $645,400 $617,000 $675,000 $643,609
Diabetes $140,129 $140,306 $140,129 $140,129
Heart Disease and Stroke $130,037 $130,188 $130,037 $130,037
Hospital Preparedness Program $255,000 $255,000 $300,000 $255,000
Core Infectious Diseases $218,000 $249,700 $248,000 $225,000
Food Safety $40,100 $50,100 $54,000 $48,000
Healthcare-Associated Infections/ National Healthcare Safety Network $30,100 $32,100 $44,000 $30,100
Advanced Molecular Detection Initiative $30,000 $30,000 $30,000 $30,000

Other public health programs of interest include:

  • REACH: $51 million (level to FY 14)
  • Lead Poisoning: $15.5 million (level to FY 14)
  • Epi and Lab Capacity: $40 million (level to FY 14)

Ebola Supplemental Funding

Additionally, the spending package included emergency designated funding for the Ebola crisis. Congress agreed to approve a total of $5.4 billion in emergency supplemental funds for the Ebola response, with $2.7 billion for HHS—$1.7 billion of which is for CDC, which will help ensure that states have the resources they need to continue to combat the crisis. Within this, notable domestic program funding includes: $155 million for the Public Health Emergency Preparedness program, $255 million for state and local response efforts, $10 million for worker training, and $114 million for migration and/or quarantine. Also, funding was made available for the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). ASPR received $157 million for BARDA, and $576 million for overall ASPR activities. Agencies are required to submit an operating plan to House and Senate Appropriators within 30 days of enactment (or, 30 days from yesterday). ASTHO will update those numbers once they become available from the relevant agencies.