On Wednesday, December 16, 2015, Congress released the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2016, the fiscal year (FY) 2016 omnibus appropriations bill *, which totals $1.15 trillion in discretionary spending in compliance with the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. The bill appropriates $1.067 trillion in base discretionary budget authority, pursuant to the two-year budget agreement enacted in November 2015, including: $548.091 billion in base defense spending; and $518.491 billion in base non-defense spending. The bill funds the government through September 30, 2016.
Today the House and Senate passed the omnibus appropriations bill and sent it to the President. Congress already passed a continuing resolution (CR) which funds the federal government through December 22, 2015.
Congress is also working on a massive $680 billion permanent tax extenders bill, which is also being referred to as a tax cuts package. This bill was released on December 16 and was passed by the House on December 17, by a vote of 318 to 109, with 241 Republicans voting in favor. The Senate passed the tax package today.
Funding for Traumatic Brain Injury Federal programs are listed below:
TBI Act: $9.321 million. This is level funding from Fiscal Year (FY) 2015. The bill also includes specific language to move the program’s funding from the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA) to the Administration for Community Living (ACL).
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Injury Prevention Center, TBI: $6.75 million. This is an increase from FY 15’s $6.548 million.
- BRAIN Research Initiative: $150 million. This is an increase of $85 million from FY 15.
- Defense Health Program TBI/Psychological Health: $125 million. This is the same funding level as FY 15. The initial Defense Appropriations bill that the House considered earlier this year cut funding for this program to $100 million. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ), co-chair of the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force successfully passed an amendment restoring the funding to $125 million.
*An omnibus spending bill is a type of bill that packages the 12 smaller appropriations bills into one large single bill that could be passed with only one vote in the House of Representatives and the United States Senate. There are 12 appropriations bills that need to be passed each year to fund the federal government and avoid a government shutdown, an omnibus spending bill combines these bills into a single bill.