On November 15, the House of Representatives failed to override President Bush’s veto of the Fiscal Year 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill, which contains important funding for TBI programs.
Despite a great deal of advocacy by many individuals and organizations, the House came up two votes short (277-141) of the necessary two-thirds majority needed to override the president’s veto.
The bill provides $9.455 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA] Federal TBI program, over the total $8.910 million allocated last year. Likewise, the bill includes $5.960 million in funding for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] TBI programs, an increase from approximately $5.3 million last year. Also of key importance, the bill includes $900,000 in additional funding for the TBI Model Systems of Care programin order to prevent this important research program from being downsized.
When Congress reconvenes in December after a two-week Thanksgiving Recess, it is expected that Democratic leaders will pursue a compromise multi-bill “omnibus” appropriations package that would split the difference between the White House and Congressional budget proposals.
Such an omnibus bill is expected to include a cut of $3.5 billion in funding from the recently passed Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill.
There is a way for you to help. You can contact your Representative and Senators and urge them to retain the current funding levels for your TBI programs. These programs include the CDC and HRSA TBI programs, as well as the important stopgap funding for the TBI Model Systems of Care Program. For the greatest impact, please call your Representative and Senators, in addition to sending an email. The Capitol switchboard number is 202-224-3121 — just ask to be connected to your Representative and Senators.