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The least you need to know about the federal stop-gap funding bill

September 29, 2016

On Wednesday, the House and Senate each passed a continuing resolution to keep the federal government operating for the first few weeks of the new fiscal year that begins Saturday. With only two days to spare, President Obama is expected to sign the measure quickly.

Here is the least you need to know about the stop-gap bill.

CARA dollars—The resolution includes a net total of about $7 million in funding to launch select provisions outlined in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA). Although Wednesday’s bill earmarks $37 million for CARA—the first funding CARA has seen since it passed in July—funds would be prorated for the 10-week time period of October 1 until December 9, when Congress will aim to approve long-term plans for fiscal year 2017. About $3.84 million will go toward Department of Justice programs, and $3.27 million will go to the Department of Health and Human Services, which will then allocate that money.

The specific CARA grant programs that now can get off the ground include:

  • Community-Based Coalition Prevention Grants (Section 103)
  • Grants for Access to Overdose Treatment (Section 107)
  • Building Communities of Recovery Grants (Section 302) and
  • State Incentive Grant for a Comprehensive Opioid Response (Section 601). 

A number of congressional leaders who advocated for CARA released statements encouraging more funding for its programs in 2017 and beyond.

Zika virus—Ongoing battles over how the federal government should fund support to address the Zika virus were one of the big stumbling blocks. In the end, $1.1 billion was set aside for programs to reduce exposure to the mosquito-borne virus and for vaccine development. President Obama had originally asked for $1.9 billion in February.

Government shutdown—The resolution’s key attribute was its mechanism to keep the U.S. government operating until lawmakers can hammer out a final budget in the coming weeks.

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