FY22 Budget Update!
This week, the House and Senate Appropriators continued their negotiations to complete their work on the FY22 Budget. Sen. Leahy (D-VT), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, stated "it will provide the biggest increase in nondefense programs in four years. Under this framework, we can direct new resources to improve health care in rural communities, expand the middle class, and protect our national security." However, it is still unclear if there is parity between defense and non-defense spending. Also, negotiators will have to decide if they will include a new round of COVID-19 aid in the budget package. The Biden Administration floated a plan last week to request $30 billion in new pandemic health care spending, mostly for new vaccines, oral antivirals, and monoclonal antibody treatments, but Republicans have pushed back on new pandemic aid, stating that the Biden Administration must first account for any previously appropriated unobligated funds. Sen. Leahy (D-VT) said he would prefer to keep pandemic aid on a separate track from the bipartisan budget negotiations.