The House and Senate conference committee yesterday approved legislation that would provide $178.1 billion in discretionary funding for the departments of Defense, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education in fiscal year 2019 and extend current funding levels for other federal programs until Dec. 7. According to a House Appropriations Committee summary, the package would provide $90.5 billion for HHS, $2.3 billion more than this year. Specific increases include $2 billion more for the National Institutes of Health; $584 million more for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; $206 million more to combat the opioid crisis; $868 million more for the public health and social services emergency fund; and $10 million more for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program. The Senate is expected to vote on the funding package next week, and the House when it returns from recess the week of Sept. 24.