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House Passes Omnibus Budget

December 18, 2007

Late on Dec. 17th, the House, in a vote of 253-154, cleared a $516 billion omnibus spending bill that includes FY 08 funding for mental illness research and services, housing and veterans programs. In order to fall within the president’s overall limit on discretionary spending, all programs and agencies will be subject to an across-the-board cut of 1.747%.   The omnibus spending package now moves to the Senate, where changes are expected on funding for Iraq and Afghanistan.  

For NAMI priorities, the bill includes:

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration): The package includes $3.4 billion for SAMHSA overall, and restores cuts proposed by the president earlier this year.

NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health): Overall, the bill includes $29.2 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which is $329 million above FY ’07 funding levels.  Funding for NIMH is at $1.429 billion.  This is about $26 million above FY ‘07, but about $12 million below the vetoed bill from last month.

Veterans: The package includes a $3.7 billion increase in veterans funding that will be triggered by the president designating these as emergency funds.

Housing: The bill includes restoration of Section 811 back to $237 million, as well the full $1.586 billion increase requested for McKinney-Vento homeless assistance. It also includes $75 million for VASH vouchers (rental vouchers for homeless veterans with mental illness) and $30 million for disabled vouchers.

We will update you when the bill comes before the Senate.


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