Federal Update

October 20, 2021

Federal Budget Negotiations

This week, the Senate Democratic Caucus released its full slate of spending bills for Fiscal Year 2022As you may remember, the House passed its FY2022 appropriations packages prior to the September 30 funding deadline. Congress then passed a short-term continuing resolution, level-funding the government through December 3rd. The Senate must now work to pass these bills and find agreement with the House on federal budget spending levels for FY 2022 prior to the December 3rd deadline.  

Please see attached for a top line summary of key mental health and substance use proposals.  Also attached please find a slide from a recent National Council presentation that lists major Programs and Priorities introduced in the 117th Congress.  These are the initiatives that we discussed during Hill Day meetings we convened with federal representatives earlier this week.  

Biden Build Back Better (BBB) Reconciliations Package (includes Massive Infrastructure and Social Spending packages)

For those NYS Council members who have been following the ongoing ‘debate’ in Washington regarding several massive spending packages under consideration, the Biden ‘Build Back Better” Reconciliation Package is the one to watch right now.  The Package would bring together a variety of major spending initiatives including the Infrastructure Spending Package that has been under consideration for many months, and another spending package that focuses more on  ‘Social Care Spending’.

The White House is floating a new framework for its Build Back Better Reconciliation package that would shrink the gross cost to below $2 trillion, down from $3.5 trillion to $4.6 trillion, over ten years. According to several  federal spending watchdog groups, the cost would only appear to be lower on paper and would be achieved in part by scheduling some policies to expire early with arbitrary sunsets. As an example, the plan would apparently extend the expanded Child Tax Credit for only a single year and expand the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for only three years.  

Word from Washington is there may be a conceptual deal on the (BBB) Reconciliation Package by this Friday.  A conceptual agreement would set parameters that are unlikely to change and that would dictate the general scope of the major federal spending initiatives being contemplated.  It’s not likely there will be a full vote on BBB by October 31st even if there is a conceptual deal on Friday, but it sounds like Congress is close to final voting on Infrastructure bill.  

We expect to see a detailed policy proposal on BBB by next week, assuming there is a conceptual deal by Friday.