Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill
Legislation blocks unnecessary and harmful regulations, reduces spending, and invests in proven programs to protect the health and well-being of all Americans
July 6, 2016 -
The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.
In total, the draft bill includes $161.6 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $569 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.8 billion below the President’s budget request. Funding within the bill is targeted to proven programs with the most national benefit, including medical research, public health, and biodefense, as well as funding for a comprehensive approach to combatting the nation’s opioid epidemic. The bill saves taxpayer dollars by cutting funding in lower-priority areas, including ineffective or wasteful programs.
In addition, the legislation contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight and to block the Administration’s unnecessary and harmful regulations that hurt economic growth. The legislation also defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare.
“This is the 12th and final Appropriations bill to be considered by the Committee this year. It follows the responsible lead of the legislation before it – investing in proven, effective programs, rolling back over‑regulation and overreach by the Administration that kills American jobs, and cutting spending to save hard‑earned taxpayer dollars,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “It includes critical funding for health and disease research, pandemic preparedness, and jobs and education programs. These are investments that will help improve American lives now, and keep us on the path for a healthier and more productive future.”
“This bill achieves its goal of reducing discretionary spending by more than half a billion dollars, all the while prioritizing where funding is needed the most. Several important programs through the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institutes of Health that benefit many Americans receive a substantial increase in funding, often well beyond the amount the President requested in his budget,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “More specifically, the bill includes additional funding dedicated to the Zika response effort, which gives the CDC director the ability to respond more quickly to the fight against Zika. Furthermore, this bill continues to fund numerous programs that many Americans rely on including Head Start, special education, community service, and Native American programs for well-being. This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer. It will make a difference and improve the welfare of the American people,” Cole continued.
Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $12 billion for DoL – $138 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $765 million below the President’s budget request. Within this slimmed-down amount, the bill targets increases for several worker training programs, including state grants for dislocated workers, Job Corps, and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. The bill also provides responsible, adequate funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions.
- Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides ETA with $9.8 billion – a decrease of $257 million below last year’s enacted level and $568 million below the President’s budget request. This total includes $849 million in mandatory appropriations for the Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances Account. State and local workforce training and development programs are prioritized, while lower-priority, unnecessary, or wasteful programs are reduced or eliminated.
- Job Corps – The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, an increase of $11.2 million over the 2016 enacted level and $54 million below the President’s budget request. The program helps unemployed young Americans receive education, job training, and employment assistance. Increases are included for safety and security improvements at Job Corps campuses across the country.
Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) – The bill provides $285.5 million for VETS, which is $14.4 million above the fiscal year 2016 level and the same as the President’s budget request. This includes an $11.9 million increase to expand the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) – The bill funds MSHA at $350.5 million, $25.4 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $46.9 million below the President’s budget request. The funding level reflects the declining need for various MSHA activities due to decreased mining activity across the country.
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;
- A new provision prohibiting enforcement of the “Overtime” rule; and
- A continuation of provisions providing flexibility in the H-2B program.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $73.2 billion for HHS, an increase of $2.6 billion above last year’s enacted level and $3.5 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) – The bill provides a total of $33.3 billion for the NIH, $1.25 billion above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.25 billion above the President’s discretionary budget request.
Within this funding, the legislation includes $165 million to support activities for the National Children’s Study, $511.5 million for Clinical and Translational Sciences Awards, and $333.3 million for Institutional Development Awards (IDeA) programs.
The bill also provides increases for several critical research initiatives, including:
- $1.26 billion, a $350 million increase, for the Alzheimer’s disease research initiative;
- $195 million, a $45 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative;
- $300 million – the full requested amount – for the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI); and
- $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” initiative, dedicated to pediatric cancer research.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The legislation includes a total of $7.8 billion for CDC – $605 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $800 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $6.9 billion in appropriated funds, as well as $908 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
Within the total, the bill provides $390 million to fight the Zika virus. This includes: domestic and supplemental vector control activities; international and territorial Zika response efforts; and block grants for states and local communities with high potential for Zika transmission to ensure officials have flexibility to address their needs. In addition, the bill provides $300 million to create a new Infectious Diseases Rapid Response Reserve Fund, which will give the CDC Director immediate access to funds to respond to any future infectious disease emergency such as Ebola or Zika.
$90 million – $20 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request – is included to expand efforts to combat prescription drug abuse.
CDC’s Public Health Preparedness and Response programs are increased by $80 million over last year’s enacted level – for a total of $1.5 billion – to ensure that the Strategic National Stockpile and State and Local Preparedness capacity are adequate. These programs provide supplies and response efforts in the event of a bioterror attack or pandemic disease emergency.
The bill also continues the longstanding prohibition against using federal funds to advocate or promote gun control.
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $4.2 billion – $431 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $480 million above the President’s budget request. Within this funding, the bill provides $581 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which is a $525 million increase above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $490 million above the President’s budget request. This includes $500 million for a first-ever comprehensive state grant program that will address the opioid epidemic nationwide. These discretionary funds match the mandatory funding dollar for dollar.
The bill funds the Substance Abuse Block Grant at $1.8 billion – the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request. Criminal justice activities receive $78 million – equal to the fiscal year 2016 level and $16 million above the President’s budget request – including $60 million for drug courts.
The legislation maintains a prohibition on federal funds for the purchase of syringes or sterile needles, but allows communities with rapid increases in cases of HIV and Hepatitis to access federal funds for other activities, including substance use counseling and treatment referrals.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) The bill includes over $6.1 billion for HRSA – $218 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $168 million above the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates all funding for the controversial Family Planning Program, saving taxpayers nearly $300 million, and maintains all existing protections against federal funding for abortion.
Within the total, the bill provides nearly $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers, which is the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $150 million above the President’s budget request.
The bill also provides $300 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program – $5 million more than the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $300 million more than the President’s budget request. Additionally, the legislation includes $103.5 million for the Healthy Start program – the same as the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request.
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The recommendation provides $3 billion for CMS program management and operations, which is $576 million below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $1 billion below the President’s budget request.
The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, and prohibits funds for the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight and Navigators programs.
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $19.4 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $558 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $588 billion below the President’s budget request.
The Head Start program receives $9.3 billion, a $142 million increase, which supports a 1.5 percent Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for Head Start grantees. The bill supports the Preschool Development Grants program at $250 million.
Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill funds ACL at $2 billion, which is $11 million above the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $17 million below the budget request.
The bill also provides $454 million – a $5 million increase – for congregate meals, and $234 million – an $8 million increase – for the Meals on Wheels program.
Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at $67 billion, which is $1.3 billion below the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and $2.4 billion below the President’s budget request. The bill eliminates several duplicative or ineffective education programs, and makes reductions to several other lower‑priority programs.
- Special Education – The bill includes $12.4 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of $500 million over the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, which will maintain the federal share of special education funding to states.
- Student Support and Academic Achievement State Grants – The bill includes $1 billion, $500 million above the President’s budget request, for grants that provide flexible funds to states and school districts to expand access to a well-rounded education, improve school conditions, and improve the use of technology.
- Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is increased to $5,935, funded by a combination of discretionary and mandatory funds.
- Impact Aid – The bill provides over $1.3 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $23 million above the current enacted level.
- Policy Provisions – The bill includes provisions prohibiting the Department of Education from moving forward with regulations to place new requirements on teacher preparation, define “gainful employment” and “credit hour,” and dictate how states must license institutions of higher education.
Other Related Agencies –
- Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $1.1 billion for CNCS, $13 million below last year’s enacted level and $15 million below the President’s budget request.
- Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for fiscal year 2019, which is the same level of advance funding provided in the fiscal year 2016 enacted level and the President’s budget request.
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The bill includes $215 million for NLRB – a decrease of $59 million below last year’s enacted level and $59.7 million below the President’s budget request.
The legislation includes several policy provisions to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations that impose additional and excessive costs on American businesses, result in job losses, and hinder economic growth. The provisions include:
- A continuation of the prohibition on use of electronic voting in union elections;
- A new prohibition on implementation of the representation-case procedures regulation;
- A new prohibition on enforcement of joint-employer standards;
- A new prohibition on enforcement of bargaining unit standards; and
- A new provision related to jurisdiction over Indian tribes.
Social Security Administration (SSA) – The bill provides $11.9 billion to administer SSA activities – a decrease of $250 million from the fiscal year 2016 enacted level – to ensure those served by the program receive efficient and timely assistance and services. One‑time costs for building renovations provided in fiscal year 2016 make up a majority of the decrease.
Defunding ObamaCare – The legislation contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including rescinding prior-year mandatory funds and prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare.
Protecting Life – The bill contains several provisions to protect life, including continuing all longstanding restrictions on abortion funding that have been included in the legislation in prior years. The legislation also includes the text of the “Health Care Conscience Rights Act.”
For the text of the legislation, please visit: http://appropriations.house.gov/uploadedfiles/bills-114hr-sc-ap-fy2017-laborhhs-subcommitteedraft.pdf