Appropriations Committee Approves Fiscal Year 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Funding Bill
WASHINGTON — The House Appropriations Committee today approved the fiscal year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill on a vote of 30 to 23. The legislation includes funding for programs within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and other related agencies, including the Social Security Administration.
In total, the bill includes $189.9 billion in base discretionary funding, an increase of $11.8 billion over the 2019 enacted level and $48 billion over the President’s 2020 budget request. The LHHS bill supports some of the nation’s most critical programs that touch individuals and families throughout their lifespan, from Early Head Start to Social Security. Many of the bill’s programs have been shortchanged in recent years, and, if enacted, the President’s budget request would do irreparable damage to programs that provide opportunities for millions of families.
Instead, the bill charts a more optimistic course, through increased investments that help make up for lost ground, so that every individual has a better chance at a better life – with a good education, a good job, and access to affordable health care.
“Today’s committee passage of the Labor, Health and Humans Services, and Education Appropriations is another step towards addressing the issues facing working people and the middle class,” said House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chairwoman Rosa DeLauro. “With historic investments in programs that provide opportunities for millions of people—from early childhood education, child care, and public schools to workforce training and apprenticeship programs—we ensure our children and all workers can get the education and skills they need to support themselves and their families. We also provide robust support for groundbreaking medical research, our public health, and our food safety infrastructure—all while protecting women’s healthcare programs from the current administration’s attacks. Our bill will help people across the country at every stage of their life, and I look forward to its swift passage in the House of Representatives.”
“This bill is an excellent example of our commitment to investing for the people and making life better for the middle class and people struggling to make it into the middle class,” said House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita Lowey. “We are turning the corner after years of insufficient funding levels that effectively sabotaged our ability to meet the country’s most pressing education, health care, and workforce needs. Instead, we’re providing a robust increase for important priorities that create jobs and grow the economy, improve health security, and build a stronger, safer future for all Americans.”
The following amendments to the bill were adopted by the full Committee:
Rep. DeLauro #1 – The manager’s amendment makes technical and noncontroversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. DeLauro #2 – The Chair’s amendment increases funding for several programs by allocating the remaining amount of funding available under the subcommittee allocation. It also includes several bill and report language provisions, including a general provision to maintain support for nonemergency medical transportation services for Medicaid beneficiaries who lack access to transportation to health care facilities. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Harris #1 – The amendment directs the Secretary of Homeland Security on how to allocate H-2B visas. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Graves – The amendment prohibits funds from being used to replace or diminish the quality of care provided by TRICARE or Medicare. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.
Rep. Lee – The amendment prohibits funds from being used to finalize, implement, or enforce a new Trump Administration rule that allows medical professionals and health workers to deny care based on personal beliefs. The amendment was adopted on a vote of 30 to 23.
Rep. Harris #3 – The amendment increases funding for the Strategic National Stockpile by $300 million using unobligated balances from the Children’s Health Insurance Program to pay for the increase. The amendment was adopted by voice vote.