AGD Calls for Lawmakers to Prioritize Oral Health Policies in Funding Package Negotiations

  • by AGD Washington Advocacy Representative
  • Dec 4, 2020
Following the release of the Senate's Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 spending bill working drafts, AGD sent a letter to leaders of relevant House and Senate funding subcommittees to reaffirm support for funding critical oral health programs. Both the House and Senate versions of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) FY2021 appropriations bill contain funding for oral health-related programs and provisions.

Republican and Democratic leaders of the funding committees reportedly agreed to top-line spending amounts before leaving Washington, D.C. for the Thanksgiving holiday, which partially cleared the way for the subcommittees to hash out details of a funding package. However, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) opposes the deal because it does not abide by the 2019 budget cap agreement.

If Congress cannot resolve all outstanding issues before midnights on December 11, at least a partial government shutdown may occur. Additionally, it is unknown what action the White House may take on a finalized omnibus spending bill, so another short-term continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of the year is being prepared simultaneously.

Impact on General Dentistry: AGD continues to advocate for the inclusion of oral health policy provisions and sustained funding by the House and Senate in their FY2021 Labor-HHS bills. AGD is working with relevant appropriations subcommittees to ensure that Congress includes funding for programs that help improve the nation's oral health and the practice of general dentistry in the eventual compromise funding package.