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 Legislative and Policy Corner

Current Funding Bill Expires Feb. 8, Negotiations Continue on Several Issues
The federal government is currently operating under a short-term continuing resolution (CR) that expires this Thursday, Feb. 8 at midnight. To avoid a government shutdown, Congress will need to pass another government spending bill between now and then. Recent reports suggest that Congress is likely to pass another short-term CR to give themselves additional time to complete negotiations on several pending matters, including: lifting the budget caps, immigration reform, and lifting the debt ceiling.

Tied up in these negotiations is the renewal of funding for several expired health care programs, including the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, the Community Health Centers program, the Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP), and Family to Family Information Centers. AMCHP continues to advocate for swift passage of renewed funding for these critical programs.

Alex Azar Confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services
On Jan. 23, the Senate confirmed Alex Azar as Secretary of Health and Human Services. In brief remarks at his swearing-in ceremony, Secretary Azar said he would focus on tackling the opioid epidemic and bringing down prescription drug prices.

Leadership Change at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Last week, Dr. Brenda Fitzgerald resigned from her position as Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Anne Schuchat will serve as Acting Director of CDC until the Trump Administration appoints a replacement for Dr. Fitzgerald. Dr. Schuchat previously served as Acting Director of CDC from Jan. 2017 to July 2017.