By: Anne Morris, MPH
Coming on the heels of recent completion of the FY2011 appropriations process, we expect to see FY2012 appropriations get underway in the coming weeks.
Several Subcommittees of the House Appropriations Committee have released guidelines for Members who wish to convey their support of various programs; most have set May 13th or May 20th as the deadlines for submission of individual Member programmatic requests. However, the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Education) Subcommittee has yet to provide instructions for Members who would like to indicate their support of the Health Centers program or other programs funded through this Subcommittee’s appropriations bill.
Additionally, reports from the Hill indicate that House Subcommittees will begin consideration of Appropriations bills as soon as a few weeks from now. Senate Appropriations action is anticipated at a later date.
We expect that more information about the House Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee’s process for conveying Member support of various programs and timing of bill consideration will be available in the coming week or so.
In the meantime, NACHC staff are beginning to meet with House and Senate offices to build support for the Health Centers program in FY2012 and specifically to secure bipartisan support for continuing the health center expansion.
While we have traditionally had a bipartisan sign-on letter in advance of the Member deadline for House Labor-HHS-Education programmatic requests, given the turnaround time in the House may be very truncated, NACHC grassroots advocates should be aware we may have a different approach for generating Member support for health centers in the FY2012 appropriations process. In light of this, we’d ask that all advocates stay tuned as more information about FY2012 appropriations becomes available and be prepared to weigh in with your Representative and Senators about the importance of supporting the continued expansion of health centers in FY2012 – and likely on short notice.