See You in September
Congress left Washington three weeks ago for its seven-and-a-half-week recess in order to hold the two national political conventions. Now it’s time for the Policy Update to take a summer break. We’ll be back after Labor Day. Of course, while we hope all of you will find some time to relax, we don’t want you to forget policy and advocacy completely. Here are a few things to keep in mind and get ready for in September.
Before leaving for the long recess Congress did manage to make nominal progress, with both chambers having marked up and reported out all of its FY 2017 appropriations bills, but there is no clear path forward for the bills it has considered. With the fiscal year ending on September 30th a continuing resolution (CR) will be needed to keep the government’s lights on. The most conservative Members generally favor a CR into March 2017 while more moderate members from both parties prefer a shorter funding package just through the November elections. Conservatives favor a longer CR because it keeps possible spending increases from taking place for the duration of the CR and because it also makes it easier to keep a CR in place for the rest of the year. For HIV advocates, a long term CR would represent a missed opportunity to adequately invest in programs to support vital HIV/AIDS programs, including the proposed investments allotted in House and Senate Labor Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bills for the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
In the meantime, with the Democratic and Republican conventions wrapped; party platforms released; and less than 95 days until the elections, it’s time that advocates and average citizens alike educate themselves, make their voices heard, and most importantly vote on election day. This election will usher in new leadership at every level of government and affect policies related to ending the HIV epidemic for the next four years and beyond.
Below are a few tools to help you get involved. We’ve gathered information about current federal HIV/AIDS issues, how to register to vote in your state, how non-profit agencies including HIV/AIDS Service Organizations can get engaged (and help engage their clients) in this election, and information on state elections:
- AIDS United Updated Policy Action Center
- 2016 Voter Registration Deadlines and Registration
- Nonprofit Election Engagement Tutorial
- State Legislature Election Guide
When we return in September, we invite you to join us in the fight for robust HIV funding, including increased investments in the Ryan White Program, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the newly updated Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and preservation of the Minority AIDS Initiative. See you in September when we will fight to restore and increase funds for HIV/AIDS federal programs that have proven successful in keeping people with HIV alive, healthy, and thriving. For questions, please reach out to Director of Government Affairs, Carl Baloney at firstname.lastname@example.org
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