Chairwoman Lowey Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2020 Labor-HHS-Education Funding Bill

2019-05-08 09:20

Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY), Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, delivered the following remarks at the Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2020 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education bill:

I congratulate Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole for the bill before us, and I thank the staff for their hard work.

We begin today's markup the morning after another tragic school shooting.  I hope the Highlands Ranch community feels this entire committee's collective sadness.  We must do more to prevent these tragedies.

House Democrats are committed to an orderly appropriations process that gets the people’s business done on time.  Beginning with today’s full committee markup of the Labor, Health and Human and Services and Education bill for fiscal year 2020, we are turning the page on the shutdowns and showdowns that have defined the last two years.

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.  Not only does this bill resoundingly reject the proposed cuts in President Trump’s budget that would have hurt working families, it provides a robust increase for important priorities that create jobs and grow the economy, improve health security, and build a stronger future for all Americans.

It includes historic levels for child care and early childhood education, including an increase of $2.4 billion for child care funding to states, $1.5 billion for Head Start, and an additional $100 million for preschool development grants.

This bill invests in educating our children to ensure a brighter future, including by relieving many of the financial barriers for families.

An increase of $100 million for afterschool funding would expand access to quality, affordable afterschool activities to more working families, and the additional $10 million for CCAMPIS would provide more parents with affordable child care so they may obtain a higher education.

Significant investments in K-12 include increases of $1 billion for Title I grants to local school districts and $1 billion for special education.                                                                 

And this bill would help rein in college debt by investing in Pell Grants and providing a $304 million increase in Federal Work Study.                                                     

A college degree is not the only ticket to the middle class.  We must also invest in worker training and education that provides opportunity to learn a skill and match workers with in-demand jobs.  This bill takes a substantial step toward that goal, by providing $3 billion for state worker training grants, and $250 million for registered apprenticeships.

The bill significantly invests in public health and includes historic increases for reproductive health, such as teen pregnancy prevention and family planning. It also carries important provisions that reject the domestic gag rule and ensure that grantees are selected on merit, not based on political ideology. 

It includes a $2 billion increase for NIH to remain the global leader in biomedical research and develop new treatments and cures.                                                    

The bill also includes once-in-a-generation increases for CDC that would move our public health infrastructure into the 21st Century.

A new, $100 million data initiative would allow CDC to more quickly get information on outbreaks, the scope of epidemics, and food born illnesses, and use that information to predict and prevent future public health threats.

Increases for environmental health, global health, and chronic health will prevent the spread of disease and improve health outcomes.  I am proud this bill includes an additional $40 million for CDC tobacco prevention activities, which are critical to helping more Americans end their addiction to tobacco and combat the growing epidemic of youth e-cigarette use.

And, after decades of inaction, I am particularly pleased this bill would finally provide funding – a total of $50 million to be exact – to CDC and NIH for evidence-based research on firearm injury prevention.

With this bill, we can empower families and communities and make the investments needed to keep up with America’s health care, education, and workforce needs.  I urge support.


116th Congress