Jul 19 2017
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) applauds the House Appropriations Committee for approving the fiscal year 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Bill. The legislation provides $156 billion for medical research, public health, biodefense, education and training activies to boost job growth. The bill also includes language to protect the sanctity of life and boosts efforts to combat the nation's drug abuse epidemic.
"Practically every family in your district and mine has been somehow impacted by this horrible problem. Now is the time for action and this subcommittee has the reins and is pulling the team," said Rogers, Chairman Emeritus of the House Appropriations Committee. "We lose almost one hundred people a day, from opioid overdoses; the CDC now calls it an epidemic. We’re now appropriating over $8 billion across the government, much of which comes through this bill, thankfully. In addition to increasing funds for the National Institute on Drug Abuse by nearly $17 million, we're also fulfilling the second half of our $1 billion commitment to the 21st Century Cures Act with a $20 million increase for CDC's Prescription Drug Overdose Program."
During his remarks to the Committee, Rogers applauded the Kentucky Legislature for its recent action to limit prescription opioids to a three day supply, in an effort to remove excess prescription painkillers from the street.
As Chairman Emeritus of the House Appropriations Committee, Rogers advocated for federal funding to support a number of programs that impact southern and eastern Kentucky, including diabetes prevention, black lung clinics, training and employment services, and educational programs, like TRIO and Gear Up.
The bill now heads to the House floor for consideration.
Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $77.6 billion for HHS, a decrease of $542 million below last year’s enacted level and $14.5 billion above the President’s budget request. The legislation targets funds to effective, proven programs that help improve the health, safety, and quality of life for Americans.
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
$35.2 billion, an increase of $1.1 billion above the FY17 enacted level and $8.6 billion above the President’s budget request. This includes several significant increases, including:
$400 million for Alzheimer’s disease research;
$76 million for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative;
$80 million for the All of Us research initiative (formerly called the Precision Medicine Initiative);
$17 million for the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); and
$8 million for regenerative medicine research.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
$7 billion, which is $198 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $1 billion above the President’s budget request. This includes $840.6 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Within the CDC, the bill includes $1.45 billion for CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response programs – an increase of $45 million.
The bill also continues the longstanding prohibition against using CDC funding to advocate or promote gun control through its research programs.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA)
$3.5 billion, which is $306 million below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $68 million above the President’s request for fiscal year 2018. The legislation continues to prohibit the use of federal funds for the purchase of syringes or sterile needles, but would allow communities with rapid increases in cases of HIV and Hepatitis to access federal funds for other activities, including substance-abuse counseling and treatment referrals. SAMHSA funding includes:
$1.86 billion for the Substance Abuse Block Grant – the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $3.4 million above the President’s budget request.
$747 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which is the same as the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $44 million above the request. This amount includes $500 million for the state response grants authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, along with funding for programs authorized in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
$78 million for Criminal Justice activities – equal to the fiscal year 2017 level and the request – including $60 million specifically for drug courts.
- Administration for Community Living (ACL)
The bill funds ACL at $2.2 billion, which is $243 million above the fiscal year 2017 enacted level and $386 million above the fiscal year 2018 request. This amount includes $227 million for the Meals on Wheels program.
- State Offices of Rural Health
This account within the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) receives $10 million, equal to the FY17 Omnibus level.
Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $10.8 billion in discretionary funding for DoL, which is $1.3 billion below the FY17 enacted level. The bill provides robust funding for job training programs and sufficient funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions, while reducing lower-priority and underperforming programs.
- Employment Training Administration (ETA)
$8.5 billion, which is $1.5 billion below the fiscal year 2017 level, but $848 million more than the President's request. This total includes $2.6 billion for job training grants, $84.5 million for YouthBuild, and $790 million in mandatory appropriations for Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances.
Training and Employment Services
$3.042 billion, which is $800 million more than requested in the President’s budget. This funding provides support for job training and employment service grants which are critical to ensure people are able to enter the workforce job-ready.
Federal Work Study Program
$989 million, which is nearly $500 million more than what was included in the President’s budget request. This program, which provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allows them to earn money while going to school and thus reduce their student debt liability.
$1.688 billion, which is a decrease of $16 million from fiscal year 2017 level, but $239 million more than requested in the President’s budget. This funding will enable the Job Corps important mission to help young people improve the quality and satisfaction of their lives through vocational and educational training.
- Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)
$359 million, which is $14 million less than in fiscal year 2017. This includes Congressman Rogers’ requested $11 million reduction for the overly burdensome MSHA Coal Enforcement inspectors. The bill also reiterates support to bring MSHA enforcement into proportion with recent worker dislocations and mine closures, by redistributing resources and activities to the areas where mine production is currently occurring.
The bill also includes $10.5 million for State assistance training grants and provides the authority to use this funding for the purchase and maintenance of equipment required by the Obama Administration’s Dust Rule.
- Reducing Harmful Red Tape
The legislation includes several provisions designed to help U.S. businesses create jobs and grow the economy by reducing or eliminating overly burdensome government regulations, including:
A new provision prohibiting enforcement of the “Fiduciary Rule,” which places significant new regulatory burdens on retirement investment advisers;
A continuation of provisions providing flexibility in the H-2B program, ensuring that employers that comply with program requirements have access to the temporary, seasonal workers their businesses depend on; and
The continuation of a provision exempting insurance claims adjusters from overtime requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act in areas that have been hit by a major disaster.
Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at $66 billion, which is $2.4 billion below the FY17 enacted level. The bill eliminates several duplicative or ineffective education programs, and makes reductions to several other lower-priority programs.
The bill includes $1 billion for TRIO programs, which is $60 million above the enacted FY17 level and $202 million above the President’s budget request. These programs are designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.
- Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (Gear Up)
The bill includes $350 million for Gear Up, which is $130 million above the President’s budget request. This program seeks to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education—a critical program for southern and eastern Kentucky.
- 21 st Century Learning Centers
The bill provides $1 billion for these centers, which creates community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools.
- Career, Technical, and Adult Education
The bill includes $1.72 billion, which is level with fiscal year 2017 and $244 million more than the President’s budget request. This account includes vocational education programs authorized by the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006 and the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (AEFLA).
- Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program
The bill provides $12 million, which is level with the enacted FY17 level. This program carries out a coordinated program of evidence-based research, demonstration projects, innovative strategies, and similar activities designed to build and enhance the ability of elementary schools and secondary schools nationwide to identify gifted and talented students meet their special educational needs.
- Special Education
$12.2 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of $200 million over fiscal year 2017. These grants will maintain the federal share of vital special education funding to states.
- Pell Grants
$22.4 billion, which is level with the fiscal year 17 level. These grants provide need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain graduate students to promote access to postsecondary education.
- Impact Aid
$1.3 billion, an increase of $5 million from fiscal year 2017. This program provides funds to states and school districts which have a significant federal presence, making up for the lost revenue from local taxes.
$370 million, an increase of $28 million from fiscal year 2017. The Charter Schools Program provides money to create new high-quality public charter schools, as well as to disseminate information about ones with a proven track record.
Other Related Agencies
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for FY2020, which is the same level of advance funding provided in fiscal year 2017.
- Social Security Administration (SSA)
$12.5 billion, level with fiscal year 2017. This funding is for the SSA’s operations, and is distinct from Social Security payments.
Cuts and Terminations – The legislation cuts or terminates several lower-priority, unproven, or unnecessary programs, including:
A cut of $150 million in refugee programs, consistent with budget request;
A cut of $21 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA);
A cut of $10 million for the Wage and Hour Division; and
A cut of $14 million for MSHA.
The following amendments to the FY 2018 LHHS Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee today:
Rep. Cole – The amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Harris – The amendment adds a provision prohibiting NLRB from enforcing the interpretation regarding “micro unions”/specialty healthcare. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
Rep. Stewart – The amendment adds a provision prohibiting the Department of Labor from enforcing the minimum wage rule on recreational operators on Federal lands. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.
The bill was adopted on a vote of 28-22.
For a summary of the bill, please visit:
For the bill report, please visit:
For the text of the bill, please visit: