Congress passes the 2019 HHS spending bill

In late September, the House of Representatives voted 361-61 to pass “minibus bill” HR 6157 that would increase funding for several initiatives, including opioid abuse treatment, community block grants and medical research. The bill passed in the Senate in a 93-7 vote a week prior.

The bill directs $90.5 billion in discretionary funding to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in FY 2019, a $2.3 billion increase from FY 2018. The following is a breakdown of where some of this funding will go:

  • $39.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a 5 percent increase from FY 2018
  • $7.1 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
  • $5.7 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
  • $3.8 billion to combat the ongoing opioid epidemic
  • $725 million for community block grants, which Congress often uses to assist state and local governments in recovering from major natural disasters. This is a $10 million increase from FY 2018

This bill is the second of three bills lawmakers must pass by Oct. 1 in order to avoid a government shutdown, and includes funding for HHS, the Department of Defense, the Department of Labor and the Department of Education.

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