Tuesday January 16, 2018
Congress must pass legislation – called a Continuing Resolution (CR) - by the end of the week to avoid a government shutdown. As a ‘must pass’ item, there is an opportunity for Congress to address and include funding for key programs – specifically, the Health Center Program, National Health Service Corps, and Teaching Health Centers Program.
This morning House and Senate leaders are negotiating what items will be attached to the CR. While it has not been confirmed that Health Center funding will be included this week, there is good news. Because of our network’s persistent advocacy, it is clear that many Members of Congress feel strongly that Health Center funding should be included as a part of this week’s package.
As is often the case on Capitol Hill, plans are quickly evolving, sometimes by the hour. Health center advocates should be armed with the timeliest information about the funding cliff, as well as action steps to prepare for the days ahead.
To ensure our advocacy is effective, please review the following items:
- Congress must act before this Friday, January 19th to avoid government shut down, so their negotiations on what to attach to the CR and final decisions on whether to include Health Center funding in this package will be made within the next 24-48 hours.
- Given the short timeline and potential need for advocacy response, Health Center Advocates should be prepared for a critical call to action this week with very little notice. Please know, NACHC will only call on advocates to take action at such a time that the impact of that action will drive results in Congressional action.
- To weigh in with a Members of Congress right now, use the standing Health Center Funding Cliff alert and/or call a Member of Congress by using the toll-free Advocacy Hotline 1-866-456-3949.
- Should Congress fail to include Health Center funding to fix the cliff in this week’s CR, Health Center Advocates should be prepared for another round of persistent advocacy action in the weeks ahead.
As always, the NACHC Advocacy Team will provide updates on specific action steps, timelines, as well as supporting tools and resources to help support advocacy for America’s health centers.
The Health Center Advocacy Network has been instrumental over the past months and weeks. There’s not a single Congressional office stating opposition to the Health Center Program, nor is there any disagreement among Congressional Members over the need for or commitment to support Health Centers and a fix to the funding cliff.
While the Congressional timeline to fix the cliff is frustrating, know that our collective voice and action are making a difference. Ultimately, the mobilization of the Health Center Advocacy Network will move Congress to act to fix the cliff once and for all.