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Capitol Connection - September 6, 2016

Title VIII Nursing Workforce Reauthorization Act
September 6, 2016

Public Policy Session at the Summit
Want to learn more about the remainder of the 114th Congress, the 2016 elections, and what it all means for nursing education and the NLN? Then grab your lunch on Friday, September 23 and come to the Miami room at 12:45 pm. Christine Murphy, the NLN’s director of public policy and advocacy, will discuss what Congress will be working on before adjourning for the year, impact of the 2016 elections on nursing education, and answering public policy questions from NLN members. See you there.

Mental Health Reform Act Advocacy Campaign
Time is running out. Without action in the United States Senate before the end of the year, S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 will not become law. This bill will help the more than 68 million Americans who live with mental illness – more than one in five children and adults.

The bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act of 2016 strengthens federal coordination of mental health resources, increases reporting on mental health parity, advances integrated service delivery, supports the mental health workforce, and increases early access to mental health services. The Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee voted unanimously to pass S. 2680 in April.

The need for mental health reform legislation is urgent. Contact your senators now and urge them to:
  1. Ask leadership to bring S. 2680, the Mental Health Reform Act of 2016, to the Senate floor for immediate consideration and
  2. Vote "yes" on S. 2680.

Federal Funding a Congressional Priority in September This is the end-of-the-line for the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations bill in the House and Senate; it is highly unlikely that the bill will be scheduled for floor consideration in either chamber prior to the start of the new fiscal year on October 1, 2016. With Congress back from a seven-week recess, the focus will shift to negotiations that will determine the duration of a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that will be needed to keep federal agencies funded past October 1. It is widely expected that a CR will either last through late December to provide sufficient time to package all outstanding appropriation bills into an omnibus bill for consideration and passage before the end-of-the-year, or a six-month CR to allow the next administration to influence 2017 spending levels. We will continue to monitor negotiations and keep you informed of any important developments. Please contact Christine Murphy, the NLN’s director of public policy and advocacy, if you have any questions.

Thanks again to our members who have worked with us to promote nursing education and protect the Title VIII programs from efforts to curtail federal spending.

The next edition of the Capitol Connection will be published on October 4, 2016.
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