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Capitol Connection - October 6, 2015

Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act
October 6, 2015
The NLN's new Advocacy Action Center is up and ready for NLN members to interact with your Members of Congress via email and Twitter. The Advocacy Action Center allows NLN members to participate in NLN's advocacy campaigns, look up and contact Members of Congress, view and search legislation the League is following, and sign up to receive advocacy alerts from the NLN.

There are three actions the NLN needs you to do now:
  1. Sign up to receive advocacy alerts from the NLN.
  2. Tell your US representative to cosponsor H.R. 2713, the Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act.
  3. Learn more about key legislation the NLN is monitoring.
As the end of the federal fiscal year approached, Congressional leaders looked at funding bills to keep the government open past the September 30 deadline. More recently, disagreements over defunding Planned Parenthood have been a major point of contention as well as whether to raise the current spending caps for defense and non-defense discretionary spending. This has caused many to speculate about the threat of a government shutdown as a real possibility.

A short-term continuing resolution (CR) that would defund Planned Parenthood and fund the government through December 11 recently failed to muster 60 votes in the Senate to proceed. At the time this article was written, the Senate is expected to move forward with a CR that funds the government through December 11 and includes funding for Planned Parenthood. The House of Representatives is also expected to consider a CR that funds Planned Parenthood and keeps the government open. The House will also vote on a budget reconciliation bill that would strip the group of its government funding. Reconciliation bills are considered under special rules that require only a simple majority to pass and they cannot be filibustered in the Senate.

This year the NLN requested $244 million in FY 2016 funding for the Title VIII nursing workforce development programs at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The House Appropriations Committee proposed level funding for Title VIII at $231.6 million (the same amount funded in FY 2015). Additionally, the Senate Appropriations Committee proposed a total of $220.6 million, an $11 million (4.7 percent) cut below FY 2015. The proposed cuts in the Senate proposal can be viewed on the NLN FY 2016 Title VIII funding chart.

Recognizing the funding challenges facing Congress and the need to lift the spending limits on discretionary funding, the NLN will continue to urge Congress to provide the higher amount proposed by the House committee for the Title VIII programs, which would fund the program at $231.6 million for FY 2016.

The next edition of the Capitol Connection will be published on November 3, 2015.

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