Senate Takes Next Steps to Fund Global Health and Development Priorities in Fiscal Year 2020
September 30th, 2019
For budget wonks, today is a big day. September 30, 2019 is the last day of the U.S. government’s fiscal year (FY19)! In Congress, the end of the fiscal year always stirs up a flurry of actions to ensure the government stays funded and that at least stop-gap spending bills are passed to avert the worst case – a government shutdown. A majority of the recent past years have ended with one of those stop-gap bills – known as a “Continuing Resolution” or a “C.R.” – so that Congress can punt decision making by a couple of weeks or months or whatever it takes to get the bills and votes in order.
This year is the same. A “C.R.” was passed through November by both the House and Senate, so it will be a bit longer until we know the final-final decisions.
But, here’s what we know now.
RESULTS volunteers have worked tirelessly since January of this year to urge Congress to increase support for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria, alongside our other priority issue areas. And, last week in a Senate full Appropriations Committee mark-up, the members of the Senate who oversee the writing of annual spending bills passed out of committee a package of bills unanimously that include funding for our global health and development priorities. Good news! The funding levels are pretty solid. Most of our priorities were funded at the same level or above last year’s spending levels.
As you may remember, the House has already passed their State and Foreign Operations spending bill out of committee and voted to pass the bills on the House floor. Their bit is done.
The Senate has not yet voted on the bill as the full Senate, but we don’t expect their funding levels to change between Committee mark-up and a full vote. (Though, they may abandon that step to start conferencing with the House to save time).
Account by account – check out below the House vs. Senate funding levels for FY20. Both are huge wins considering the President’s budget request for FY20.
FY20 Budget Request
FY20 RESULTS Request
of which Gavi
of which GPE
In the Senate, the language in the bill was particularly strong in supporting the Global Fund’s 6th replenishment conference. It reads:
Global Fund Contribution.—The Committee recommends $1,560,000,000 for a U.S. contribution to the Global Fund. In advance of the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in 2019, the Committee anticipates that the United States will pledge not less than this amount for each of the three fiscal years pertaining to the Global Fund’s Sixth Replenishment. The Committee does not sup- port the administration’s proposal to amend the longstanding matching rates for U.S. contributions to the Global Fund and expects the United States to continue to match other donor contributions at a rate of $1 for every $2 received from other donors.
Additionally, the Senate increased funding for the Nutrition Account in Global Health by $5 million, which was one of our key asks at the RESULTS International Conference in July. Definitely thank your Senate offices for supporting that bump over the House level!
While the House spending bill is better on Basic Education and GPE funding, both bills increased funding for the Tuberculosis Account and the Maternal and Child Health Account.
We will continue to push both chambers to support the highest funding levels for the accounts as they move to conference final spending bills this fall. Keep your eyes on your RESULTS updates for timely action taking!