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AACN's Washington Weekly

Published October 02, 2019

President Trump Signs Continuing Resolution to Extend Government Funding 


On September 27, three days before the September 30 deadline and with no funding agreement in site, President Trump signed a Continuing Resolution or CR into law. This CR serves as a stopgap funding measure as Congress works to finalize a long-term spending deal before the next deadline of November 21. While the House and Senate have unveiled their FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriation bills, even passing them in the House, Congress needs extra time to negotiate and finalize FY 2020 priorities. AACN will continue to monitor and engage on this vital issue. For current funding levels, see AACN’s FY 2020 Funding Chart.

Senator Alexander Introduces HEA Reauthorization Package

On September 26, Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, introduced the Student Aid Improvement Act (S.2557), a package of eight higher education proposals that would update portions of the Higher Education Act (HEA). While not a comprehensive HEA Reauthorization, this legislation would provide permanent mandatory funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Serving Institutions, simplify the FAFSA form, and increase the maximum Pell Grant, among other changes.

As we await further action in the Senate and a HEA proposal in the House, AACN continues to engage with the House Education and Labor Committee and the Senate HELP Committee to ensure our priorities are included and that any final legislation advances sustainable, inclusive, and innovative higher education principles.

NIH HEAL Initiative: A Long-term End to Addiction 

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) awarded $945 million in funding through the Helping to End Addiction Long-termSM Initiative (HEAL InitiativeSM). This effort supports research grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements across 41 states to improve chronic pain treatments, reduce opioid use disorder and overdose rates, and focus on long-term recovery from opioid addiction. For example, the NIH HEAL Initiative will address the lack of a national standard of care for infants born exposed to opioids and how to ensure people with opioid use disorder are receiving appropriate treatments and interventions in their communities. The NIH Health Initiative employs a comprehensive approach, involving experts across NIH institutes and centers, to address the significant barriers preventing progress in ending the opioid epidemic.

Visit to learn more about the NIH HEAL Initiative.

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