On December 3, President Joe Biden signed the second continuing resolution (CR) passed by Congress into law. It expires February 18, 2022, averting a government shutdown and extending Congress’s deadline to pass the fiscal year (FY) 2022 appropriations bills funding the federal government. APA Services will continue to urge House and Senate Appropriations Committee leadership to complete the annual appropriations process and forgo a yearlong CR that would fund agencies at last year’s funding levels.
To this end, the association joined the education, public health, and scientific communities in encouraging Congress to complete the FY 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations (Labor-HHS) bill as soon as possible. Responding to the ongoing threat of a yearlong CR, we joined the Coalition for Health Funding (CHF) Public Health Week. We serve on the coalition’s board. The week included a virtual advocacy day on Capitol Hill to impress upon Congress the importance of passing FY22 funding bills quickly. In meetings with Hill staff, participants shared examples of how CRs are harmful to public health efforts and the effectiveness of federal research agencies. Among the potentially detrimental consequences of a yearlong CR is the inability to address the social determinants of health (SDOH) and promote health equity, the week’s theme and the subject of a congressional briefing—Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity: A Conversation with the Coalition for Health Funding. APA’s director for health equity, Nichole Sorhaindo, informed briefing participants of APA Services' efforts related to SDOH and included in CHF’s corresponding publication, Social Determinants of Health and Health Equity: A CHF Member Perspective (PDF, 2.13MB).
We also joined 314 organizations and institutions on an Ad Hoc Group sign-on letter (PDF, 184KB) urging swift passage of the House-passed bill that provides $46.4 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) base budget for FY 2022. The coalition’s members include medical and scientific societies, academic and research organizations, among others, that support enhancing the federal investment in the biomedical, behavioral, and population-based research conducted and supported by the NIH. The House-passed version of the Labor-HHS bill (HR 4502) includes report language providing a budget of $49.8 million, a $19.5 million increase for the NIH Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR). Association members advocated and promoted this increase at the May 16 Stand for Science to Advance Psychology: Science Advocacy Summit 2021. Additionally, the accompanying report to the Senate-draft version of the bill notes the committee “strongly supports the continued strengthening of the behavioral science enterprise at NIH and urges OBSSR funding be increased to accomplish [its] mission.”
Similarly,we joined the Friends of Institute for Education Sciences (IES) coalition in a letter encouraging Congress to include $814 million for IES as part of a final appropriations agreement (PDF, 106KB). The Senate Labor-HHS appropriations bill included this top-line level of funding for the agency. The coalition emphasized that passing an FY 2022 appropriations bill would help restore a decade of lost purchasing power that has limited IES’s flexibility to fund emerging research areas and scale up promising interventions.
The association will remain steadfast in urging Congress to complete the FY 2022 appropriations process as CRs create inefficiencies and uncertainty for federal agencies.
For more information, contact Angela L. Sharpe, MG.