Nation’s Leading HIV, STD & Hepatitis Organizations Call on Congress to Reject Automatic Continuing Resolutions as a Solution for Shutdowns
Washington, D.C. – In response to the recent government shutdown, some in Congress have proposed an automatic continuing resolution (ACR) to ensure government functions. While we applaud efforts to avoid future shutdowns, we believe an ACR would do more harm than good, putting funding for the nation’s public health and discretionary programs at risk and undermining Congress’ essential role in appropriating and setting national priorities.
Automatic CR proposals would allow the government to continue operating without the action of Congress or the President, thereby removing the biggest incentive for Congressional leadership to reach an agreement on annual appropriations bills and threaten to prolong budgetary uncertainty. The failure of Congress to fulfill one of its essential duties — appropriate federal dollars — would leave previous years’ funding levels in place while new needs go unaddressed and potentially underfunded programs continue to be hampered.
While we all believe government shutdowns should be avoided, the ACR is no solution. Programs such as those that provide for the wellbeing of low-income and vulnerable communities, including those living with or affected by HIV, STDs, and hepatitis are too important to be used for political gain in budget negotiations.
We urge Congress to explore alternatives for avoiding future shutdowns; ones that won’t put the nation’s public health at risk.
AIDS United (AU), NASTAD, the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD), NMAC, and The AIDS Institute (TAI) are national non-partisan, non-profit organizations who formed the Partnership to End HIV, STDs, and Hepatitis in order to secure the necessary rights, resources, and services for those affected by the HIV, STD and Hepatitis epidemics through sound policies and appropriations at the federal level.