President Bush has signed into law a $600 billion continuing resolution package to fund HHS and other government programs at fiscal 2008 levels through March 6, 2009.
I am disappointed that the Congress passed a long-term continuing resolution. There is much work to be done, and the Congress should not adjourn for the year without finishing important business on spending, taxes and free-trade agreements, Bush said in a written statement.
The resolution funds programs covered by 12 fiscal 2009 appropriations bills that have not yet been enacted, including a bill that would fund HHS. Provisions related to HHS include: $600 million in disaster assistance to the states and $150 million to assist the Food and Drug Administration with staffing increases.
In addition, a special provision was included so that mandatory programs such as Medicare and Medicaid can operate normally under the continuing resolution, according to an HHS spokesman. An appropriations bill signed by Bush late last year funded HHS at $65.6 billion in fiscal 2008. -- by Jennifer Lubell