Final CR Closes Book on FY 2011

Yesterday, both the Senate and House of Representatives passed H.R. 1473, the full-year spending agreement for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2011. This bill, the result of a long series of negotiations between Speaker of the House John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and President Obama, ultimately averted a possible government shutdown. The full-term CR contains unprecedented non-defense discretionary cuts. It would reduce discretionary spending for the rest of the year by roughly $38 billion from FY2010’s enacted levels of spending. Unfortunately, $35 million of these cuts are from “Rural Health Programs.” The specific programs cut, however, are unknown as of now and will be up to the discretion of the Secretary of Health and Human Services. Once this final deal is signed by the president we can officially close the book on FY2011 funding. However, there’s little time to rest as the House votes today to approve a budget plan for Fiscal Year 2012. It is expected that the House will ultimately approve Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan after voting on several alternatives. Once a budget plan is finalized the Congress will begin its task of appropriating federal funding to the various Federal agencies. NRHA has submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Committee, but we still need your help. It’s important that you call your Congress members and tell them to support the rural health safety net programs. Dollars in rural go a long way and cuts to rural will ultimately do more harm than good. To see a breakdown of the FY2011 CR spending cuts,  click here. To see NRHA’s Outside Witness Testimony to the House Committee on Appropriations,  click here.

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