CounselorsEmpowerACA Government Affairs Blog

The ACA Government Affairs team strives to keep the counseling community connected with important legislative news, updates, and announcements that affect the profession. Questions? Want to get involved in our advocacy efforts? Email us at advocacy@counseling.org 


 

Apr 16, 2021

Biden Administration Releases Top Line Budget Request

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released President Biden’s topline request for fiscal year (FY) 2022 discretionary funding. OMB stated the complete President’s Budget will not be available in time for the start of the Congress’s annual appropriations and budget process and that this proposal reflects only one piece of the President’s broader agenda. The discretionary request proposes $769 billion in non-defense discretionary funding for FY 2022, a 16 percent increase over the FY 2021 enacted level.

Please find below a summary of the topline requests that may be of interest:

Department of Health and Human Services: The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $131.7 billion for HHS, a 23.5 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level. This request includes appropriations for 21st Century Cures Act and program integrity activities.

  • Strengthening Public Health Infrastructure and Meeting Crisis-Related Needs
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The discretionary request includes $8.7 billion for the CDC to support core public health capacity improvements in States and Territories, modernize public health data collection nationwide, train new epidemiologists and other public health experts, and build international capacity to detect, prepare for and respond to emerging global threats.
    • Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR): The discretionary request proposes $905 million for ASPR’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) to maintain replenishment of critical medical supplies and restructuring efforts initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Expands Access to Mental Healthcare: The discretionary request includes $1.6 billion, more than double the 2021 enacted level, for the Community Mental Health Services Block Grant, and additional funding to support the needs of those who are involved in the criminal justice system, resources to partner mental health providers with law enforcement and funds to expand suicide prevention activities.
    • Addresses Racial Disparities in Healthcare: The discretionary request includes “additional funding to expand access to culturally competent [health] care.” The discretionary request also includes $153 million for CDC’s Social Determinants of Health program to support States and Territories in improving health equity and data collection for racial and ethnic populations.
  • Defeating Other Diseases and Epidemics
    • Makes a Major Investment to Help End the Opioid Epidemic: The discretionary request includes $10.7 billion to support research, prevention, treatment and recovery support services, with targeted investments to support populations with unique needs, including Native Americans, older Americans and rural populations.

Department of Education: The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $102.8 billion for the Department of Education, a 41-percent increase over the 2021 enacted level.

  • Investing in Young People and America’s Future
    • Prioritizes the Physical and Mental Well-Being of Students: The discretionary request provides $1 billion to increase the number of counselors, nurses and mental health professionals in schools.

Department of Labor (DOL): The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $14.2 billion for DOL, a 14 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level.

  • Invests in High-Quality Workforce Training Programs
    • Registered Apprenticeship Programs: The discretionary request proposes “significant new investments” to build a strong workforce and increase opportunities for men and women by expanding funding to support Registered Apprenticeship. Specific funding levels are expected to be published in the complete President’s Budget in the coming months.

Department of Justice (DOJ): The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $35.2 billion for DOJ, a 5.3 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level.

  • Committing to Criminal Justice Reform
    • Reforms the Federal Criminal Justice System: The discretionary request supports key investments in First Step Act (FSA) implementation, advancing the provision of high-quality substance use disorder treatment, reentry services and recidivism reduction programming. Specific funding levels are expected to be published in the complete President’s Budget in the coming months.
    • Invests in Community Policing, Police Reform and Other Efforts to Address Systemic Inequities: The discretionary request proposes to expand grants that support efforts to reform State and local criminal justice systems, including funding to support juvenile justice programs, drug courts and alternative court programs, public defenders and Second Chance Act programs. Specific funding levels are expected to be published in the complete President’s Budget in the coming months.
    • Combats the Gun Violence Public Health Epidemic: The discretionary request includes $2.1 billion for the DOJ to address the gun violence public health crisis plaguing communities across the U.S.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA): The President’s 2022 discretionary request includes $113.1 billion in discretionary funding for the VA, an 8.2 percent increase from the 2021 enacted level. The discretionary request also includes $111.3 billion in advance appropriations for VA medical care programs in 2023.

  • Protects Those Who Protected America
    • VA Medical Care: The discretionary request includes $97.5 billion for VA Medical Care, an 8.5 percent above the 2021 enacted level.
    • Prioritizes Veteran Suicide Prevention: The discretionary request includes $542 million for existing programs dedicated to veteran suicide prevention outreach, including funding to increase the capacity of the Veterans Crisis Line.
    • Supports Critical Healthcare Improvements: The discretionary request includes over $500 million within the VA Medical Care accounts to begin implementing new and recently expanded healthcare programs for veterans, including a new grant program for suicide prevention outreach, increased eligibility for emergency suicide prevention treatment, new investments in women’s health programs and certain expansions for homeless programs and services related to military sexual trauma. The funding would also further support the Department’s efforts to address substance use disorders.

While the President’s Budget is not mandatory for Congress to follow, it serves as an important document which highlights the Biden Administration’s priorities. We are still waiting for the President’s Budget fact sheets to be published and will share additional information as it becomes available. The House and Senate Appropriations and Budget Committees will be holding hearings, but the timing is uncertain without the full budget proposal. OMB plans to submit the official President’s Budget with additional detail in the months ahead. We will continue to monitor and update. If you would like to become involved in ACAs advocacy efforts, please contact the ACA Government Affairs and Public Policy team at advocacy@counseling.org.

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