from the National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV)

Earlier this week, the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee marked up its FY 2009 spending bill. The Sexual Assault Services Program (SASP) was funded at $15 million (up from $9.4 million in FY 2008).
The bill also contained language which increases Congressional oversight in specialty mental health services and substance abuse programs, including a directive that the Department of Defense provides the best care to veterans who suffer from military sexual trauma.
While this news is very exciting, we must remind everyone that this is the very first step in a very, very long annual appropriations process. This year the process will be longer because the upcoming Presidential election will greatly impact the ability of Congress to get their work done.
Next week, the full House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to vote on this bill. There may be amendments added to fund additional programs and it will be passed out of full committee early next week. Then the bill must make its way to the House floor. However, the President has already threatened to veto any bill that exceeds his proposed budget funding levels.

If you have any questions, feel free to consult NAESV’s advocacy guide for more information. You can also email Ana Ottman or Ellen Fern.
To view the Subcommittee’s press release, please click here.