On September 7th the Senate State and Foreign Operations (SFOPS) Appropriations committee passed the fiscal year 2018 SFOPS bill out of committee. It included some good news for our priority health programs:
Maternal and Child Health: Like the House bill, the Senate bill fully funds Gavi at $290 million, an increase of $15 million over fiscal year 2017 spending levels! In addition, it increases the overall Maternal and Child Health (MCH) budget by the same amount (to $829.5 million total) so that there are no costs to other MCH programs for fully funding Gavi.
Tuberculosis: The Senate bill increased funding by $20 million dollars over fiscal year 2017 spending levels to $261 million total! This increase is unprecedented in recent years, and is a promising step forward.
The Senate bill also maintained current funding for Nutrition ($125 million) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (1.35 billion) – a great accomplishment after the significant cuts we saw for these accounts in the President’s fiscal year 2018 budget request.
The news out of the Senate was not so positive for the Basic Education account, which saw a $300 million cut. While disappointing, this funding level is in line with the past several fiscal years in the Senate SFOPS bills. However, we are glad to say that the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) was singled out and protected at the current spending level of $75 million. That keeps GPE in a good place, but we still have a lot of work to do ahead of the GPE replenishment conference next year to increase commitment to global education on the Hill. As RESULTS advocates, we are certainly up to the challenge!
One thing to keep in mind is that these numbers are not final – there’s an opportunity to see Basic Education funding restored and to push for the higher Senate funding levels for MCH and TB as the bills from the House and Senate Appropriations Committees move forward. Next steps will likely be that the two bills go to conference to resolve any differences between them, but they may still be wrapped up in a group of bills known as an “omnibus bill” to be voted on as a package deal. With the recent passage of a continuing resolution, we won’t see a final fiscal year 2018 Appropriations bill until December at the earliest.
Thank you for your incredible work this year to make sure Congress knows that their constituents care about these important antipoverty accounts, and that they should too.
FY18 RESULTS’ Request
FY18 President’s Request
Maternal and Child Health
of which Gavi
Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria
of which the Global Partnership for Education