Rep Cmte Appropriations

Appropriations Committee Releases the Draft Fiscal Year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill

Washington, Sep 29 -

The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill. 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 $153.4 billion in discretionary funding, which is $4 billion (-2.5%) below the fiscal year 2011 enacted level and $27.5 billion (-15.2%) below the President’s budget request. The funding levels reflect the overall change in fiscal year 2012 discretionary spending to $1.043 trillion – the amount to which the House, Senate, and White House agreed in the recent debt ceiling legislation.

The legislation contains several policy provisions aimed at reducing harmful and unnecessary federal regulations that tie the hands of employers and undermine job creation and economic growth. The bill also contains several provisions intended to stop the Administration from implementing ObamaCare, including a prohibition on funding to implement the law and several provisions rescinding funding previously provided for ObamaCare programs.

“Many of the programs and services funded in this bill protect the health and safety of the American people and provide assistance to the most vulnerable among us. However, excessive and wasteful spending over the years has put many of the programs and agencies funded in this bill on an irresponsible and unsustainable fiscal path. To protect critical programs and services that many Americans rely on – especially in this time of fiscal crisis – the bill takes decisive action to cut duplicative, inefficient, and wasteful spending to help get these agency budgets onto sustainable financial footing,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said.

“In addition, the bill makes great strides to rein in bureaucratic red tape and eliminate unnecessary regulatory burdens on businesses and industries that are the backbone of our economy,” Rogers continued. “These actions will help increase stability in our marketplace, and give employers greater confidence to invest in American businesses and create new jobs.”

LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Denny Rehberg echoed Rogers’s remarks, saying:

“This common-sense plan is built on the simple idea that the economy isn’t just a bunch of numbers. This bill is about investing in people and creating the jobs they need by funding things like education to empower innovation and restore American ingenuity, and freeing employers from stifling government regulatory burdens that replace productivity with paperwork. By spending tax dollars strategically, we can balance critical funding for programs that actually help people and families with the real need to rein in government over-spending."

A subcommittee mark up of the draft LHHS bill released today has not yet been rescheduled.

For the LHHS subcommittee draft text of the legislation, please visit: /UploadedFiles/FY_2012_Final_LHHSE.pdf

Bill Summary:

Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides $10.4 billion in new discretionary budget authority for the Department of Labor, which is $2.6 billion (-20%) below last year’s level and $2.4 billion (-19%) below the President’s request. The legislation also reforms the funding structure of several DoL programs to make them more transparent and accountable to the taxpayer by eliminating advance funding for future years and transitioning agency budgets to correspond with the regular fiscal year.

In addition, the legislation includes several provisions that are designed to foster a pro-job growth environment by reducing or eliminating the Administration’s aggressive regulatory overreach. Some of these include:

Health and Human Services – The Department of Health and Human Services receives a total of $70.2 billion in new discretionary budget authority, which is $200 million below the last year’s level and $2.8 billion (-4%) percent below the President’s budget request.

Within this total, Community Health Centers are funded at $2.6 billion – an increase of $995 million over last year’s level. However, the legislation also rescinds the $1.2 billion in funding provided for these centers under ObamaCare – making the total funding for this program equal to last year’s level – and includes language to ensure that no health centers are closed.

The bill also provides a program level for health professions training of $605 million, a decrease of $208 million from last year. This includes $268 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education program, which was eliminated in the President’s request.

In addition, the bill includes $140 million for rural health programs, an increase of $2 million above last year, and eliminates funding for the Family Planning Program. 

The bill also includes language that prohibits funding for the “Healthy Foods Financing” initiative. 

Department of Education – The Department of Education is funded at $69 billion in the legislation, which is $2.4 billion (-3%) below last year’s level and $11.5 billion (-14%) below the budget request. The bill eliminates more than 30 programs that are duplicative, inefficient, or unauthorized, including the Administration’s “Race to the Top” program.

Other Related Agencies

To view the table comparing the agency spending levels within the fiscal year 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services Draft Appropriations Bill to the President’s request and last year’s levels, please visit: /UploadedFiles/FY12_LHHS_Summary_Table.pdf