The House of Representatives passed the final fiscal 2009 budget resolution
conference report (S. Con Res 70) on Thursday, by a narrow vote of 214-210.
The Senate adopted the same resolution on June 4 by a vote of 48-45.
This marks the first year since 2000 that Congress has been able to successfully
agree upon a final budget resolution. Congressional budget resolutions
do not become law but rather serve as a blueprint, setting the parameters
for spending and tax bills throughout the year.
Final passage of this year's budget resolution facilitates the establishment
of official funding ("302b") allocations for the fiscal 2009
Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, which funds multiple TBI-related
programs, including programs authorized through the TBI Act. Once 302b
Subcommittee allocations have been determined, the fiscal 2009 appropriations
process can officially go forward with committee markups and other official action.
BIAA recently signed on to a coalition letter urging Appropriations Committee
Chairs in both chambers to allocate an additional $15 billion over last
year's funding levels for the Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittees.
According to CQ Today, "The Democrats' budget resolution calls
for $24.5 billion more in discretionary spending than the $991.6 billion
President Bush requested. Bush has threatened to veto bills that exceed
his target, but Democrats may wait for him to leave office before completing
work on these bills. The Appropriations committees will begin work this
month, with the first House subcommittee markups next week" (David
Clarke, CQ Today, 6/5/2008).
SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE ACTION ALERT: BIAA issued a Legislative Action Alert
on Fiscal Year 2009 TBI appropriations two weeks ago. Now that Congress
has successfully passed a final budget resolution, BIAA continues to urge
advocates to make contact with their representatives in Congress and urge
them to increase appropriations for federal TBI programs this year.