Federal Budget Up for Vote, Including Health Funding
The House on Wednesday is scheduled to vote on a $463.5 billion fiscal year 2007 spending bill that includes additional funding for veterans' health care, NIH and community health centers, the Wall Street Journal reports (Rogers, Wall Street Journal, 1/30). The 109th Congress last year approved two of 11 FY 2007 appropriations bills and passed a continuing resolution to fund most federal agencies at FY 2006 levels until Feb. 15.
Late last year, House Appropriations Committee Chair David Obey (D-Wis.) and Senate Appropriations Committee Chair Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) said that they would complete the other FY 2007 appropriations bills through an extended continuing resolution and focus on FY 2008 appropriations bills (American Health Line, 1/26).
Under the new CR, which would fund most government agencies until the end of FY 2007 on Sept. 30, NIH funding would be $619 million higher than FY 2006 levels (Cohn, CongressDaily, 1/30). Other increases include $4.4 billion for veterans' medical care, $2.3 billion for education and health programs, and $207 million for community health centers.
Programs that fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria abroad also would receive additional funding (Wall Street Journal, 1/30).
The Senate is expected to consider the CR as early as next week (Cohn, CongressDaily, 1/29).
According to the Journal, the Bush administration apparently is "receptive to much of the package, but it would have to accept an almost $3.6 billion cut from its [FY 2007] request for military construction and base-closing funds" (Wall Street Journal, 1/30).