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Congressman Tom Cole

Representing the 4th District of Oklahoma

Appropriations Committee Releases the Fiscal Year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Funding Bill

June 14, 2018
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today released the draft fiscal year 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS) funding bill, which will be considered in subcommittee tomorrow. 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 draft bill includes $177.1 billion in discretionary funding, essentially the same as the 2018 enacted level. The bill targets investments in medical research, public health, biodefense, education, and important activities that help promote job readiness. The legislation also includes several provisions to rein in unnecessary regulations and to protect the sanctity of life.
 
“This bill funds critical programs that will protect and save lives both now and in the future, and help prepare the next generation to be part of a productive workforce to grow our economy and provide for their families. This includes investments in vital research to cure diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer’s, job training, college preparation, and special education programs, and protections against health threats such as pandemics and bio-threats,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen said.
 
“Once again, the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill prioritizes and reflects the values that Americans truly care for. For the fourth consecutive year, the bill allocates increased funds for the National Institutes of Health at $1.25 billion, for a total of $38.3 billion. These funds will greatly benefit numerous medical research programs, combat opioid abuse and support the search for cures for many cancers and diseases. Additionally, the bill includes increases for important education programs like TRIO, career and technical education, and early childhood education initiatives. Provisions related to the protection of human life are continued in this year’s bill as well. This bill is one that supports and benefits all Americans,”  LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said.
 
Bill Summary:
 
Department of Labor (DoL) – The bill provides a total of $12.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for DoL – $88.8 million below the fiscal year 2018 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) – The legislation provides ETA with $9.8 billion – a decrease of $216 million below last year’s enacted level and $1 billion above the budget request. This total includes $2.8 billion for job training grants, $92.5 million for YouthBuild, and $790 million in mandatory appropriations for Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances, which provides job training programs for workers who lose their jobs as a result of international trade.
 
  • Job Corps – The bill provides $1.7 billion for Job Corps, over the same as the 2018 enacted level and $421.7 million above the budget request. Funding is included in addition to amounts provided in fiscal year 2018 for physical facility safety and security improvements.
 
  • Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) – The bill provides $299.7 million for VETS, which is $4.6 million above the fiscal year 2018 level and $18 million above the budget request. This includes a $50 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program and $3.5 million for a new initiative to connect transitioning service members to apprenticeship opportunities.
 
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The bill includes a total of $89.2 billion for HHS, an increase of $1 billion above last year’s enacted level and $2.4 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. Within this amount, the bill includes:
 
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) – The bill provides a total of $38.3 billion for NIH, an increase of $1.25 billion above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $4.1 billion above the President’s budget request.
 
The bill provides increases for several critical research initiatives, including:
 
  • $2.25 billion, a $401 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research,
  • $400 million, a $100 million increase, for the Cancer Moonshot research initiative,
  • $429 million, a $29 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative,
  • $437 million, a $147 million increase, for the All of Us research initiative,
  • $130 million, an increase of $30 million, for research to develop a universal influenza vaccine,
  • $528 million, an increase of $15 million, for research on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria,
  • $366 million, an increase of $15 million, for Institutional Development Awards, and
  • $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative.
 
The legislation expands support for research related to opioids and pain management, as well as for the Down syndrome research initiative established in fiscal year 2018.
 
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – The legislation includes a total of $7.6 billion for CDC – $663 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $2 billion above the President’s budget request. After accounting for the transfer of the Strategic National Stockpile to ASPR and the one-time facilities funding in fiscal year 2018, the legislation provides an increase of $427 million for CDC on a comparable program level. This includes $848 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The bill also continues the longstanding prohibition against using federal funds to advocate or promote gun control.
 
The bill includes $300 million to establish an Infectious Disease Rapid Response Reserve Fund to allow the Secretary to quickly respond to a pandemic, as well as funding for initiatives proposed in the President’s Budget to continue efforts to track children and families affected by the Zika virus and to address infectious disease in high-risk areas, especially those disproportionately affected by the opioid crisis. The legislation expands support for preparedness grants to States, chronic disease prevention efforts, and programs that address the opioid use and opioid-related injury.
 
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) – The bill funds SAMHSA at $5.6 billion – $448 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $2.1 billion above the President’s request. 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.
 
SAMHSA funding includes:
 
  • $2.4 billion for the Substance Abuse Block Grant, $500 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $500 million above the fiscal year 2019 request.
 
  • $99 million for Criminal Justice activities – $10 million above last year and $21 million above the budget request – including $80 million specifically for drug courts.
 
  • The bill includes $3.85 billion to address substance use, including opioid and heroin abuse, which is $36 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $1.75 billion above the budget request. This amount includes $1 billion for State opioid response grants, along with funding for programs authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act and the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.
 
  • Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) – The bill includes $6.5 billion for HRSA, which is $196 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $3 billion below the budget request. The amount includes:
 
  • $325 million for the Children’s Hospital Graduate Medical Education, an increase of $10 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
 
  • $110 million for the Healthy Start program, the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.  
 
  • $655 million for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, an increase of $3 million over the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
 
  • An elimination of all funding for the controversial Family Planning (Title X) Program, saving taxpayers nearly $300 million.
 
  • Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) – The recommendation provides $334 million for AHRQ, which is the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The budget request proposed to merge most of AHRQ’s activities into NIH.
 
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) – The recommendation provides $3.5 billion for CMS administrative expenses, which is $168 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $42 million below the fiscal year 2019 request. This funding level is sufficient to maintain core operations and services.
 
The bill does not include additional funding to implement ObamaCare programs, prohibits funds for the “Navigators” program, and prohibits the collection of user fees from the Health Insurance Exchanges.
 
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF) – The bill provides $22.9 billion in discretionary funding for ACF, which is $60 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $7.6 billion above the budget request.
 
  • Early childhood programs receive an increase of $50 million. Head Start receives $9.9 billion, a $50 million increase, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant receives $5.2 billion, the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.  
 
  • The bill maintains funding for Preschool Development Grants at $250 million, the same as the fiscal year 2018 enacted level.
 
  • The bill provides a $35 million increase for the Community Services Block Grant, for a total of $780 million for Community Service programs. 
 
  • Administration for Community Living (ACL) – The bill funds ACL at $2.2 billion, which is $10 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level and $363 million above the budget request. This amount includes:
 
  • $897 million for senior nutrition programs, of which $246 million is for the Meals on Wheels program.
 
  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) – The bill provides $2.8 billion for PHSSEF, an increase of $860 million above the fiscal year 2018 level and $509 million above the budget request. The bill shifts funding for the Strategic National Stockpile from CDC to PHSSEF. The total funding level includes:
    • $587 million, an increase of $50 million, for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
    • $780 million, an increase of $70 million, for Project BioShield, for the acquisition of medical countermeasures,
    • $710 million, an increase of $100 million, for the Strategic National Stockpile,
    • $280 million, an increase of $15 million, for Hospital Preparedness Program grants, and
    • $62 million, an increase of $5 million, to expand and improve training for the National Disaster Medical System.
 
Department of Education – The bill funds the Department of Education at nearly $71 billion, which is $43 million above the fiscal year 2018 enacted level. The total funding level includes:
 
  • Special Education – The bill includes $12.3 billion for IDEA special education grants to states, an increase of $50 million over the fiscal year 2018 enacted level, which will maintain the federal share of special education funding to states.
 
  • Student Support and Academic Achievement State Grants – The bill includes $1.2 billion, $100 million above the fiscal year 2018 level, for grants that provide flexible funds to states and school districts to expand access, improve school conditions, and increase the use of technology. This robust level of funding will support school safety activities, including student mental health services, bullying prevention, and professional development for personnel in crisis management.
 
  • Pell Grants – The maximum Pell Grant award is maintained at $6,095, funded by a combination of discretionary and mandatory funds.
 
  • Impact Aid – The bill provides over $1.4 billion for Impact Aid, an increase of $52 million above the current enacted level.
 
  • Charter Schools – The bill increases funding for charter schools by $50 million, to a total of $450 million.
 
  • TRIO and GEAR UP programs, which help first-generation college students prepare for, enter, and complete college, are increased by $60 million and $10 million, respectively, bringing TRIO programs to a total of $1.06 billion and GEAR UP to a total of $360 million.
 
  • Career, Technical and Adult Education - The bill provides $1.9 billion for career, technical and adult education programs, an increase of  nearly $115 million over fiscal year 2018, to ensure that all students have the opportunity to continue to develop their skills after high school and enter into good‑paying jobs.
 
Other Related Agencies –
 
  • Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) – The bill includes $1.06 billion for CNCS, the same as last year’s enacted level.
 
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) – The bill provides an advance appropriation of $445 million for CPB for fiscal year 2021, which is the same level of advance funding provided in fiscal year 2018.
 
  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) – The bill includes $261.3 million for NLRB – a decrease of $12.9 million below last year’s enacted level.
 
The legislation includes two policy provisions to stop the NLRB’s harmful anti-business regulations. The provisions include:
 
  • A provision that prohibits the NLRB from applying its revised “joint-employer” standard in new cases and proceedings;
  • A provision that prevents the NLRB from exercising jurisdiction over Tribal governments.
 
  • Social Security Administration (SSA) – The bill provides $12.4 billion to administer SSA activities, which is $332 million below the fiscal year 2018 enacted level, and $164 million above the budget request.  This funding level is sufficient to ensure those served by the program receive efficient and timely assistance and service.
 
Defunding ObamaCare – The legislation contains several provisions to stop the implementation of ObamaCare – including prohibiting the use of any new discretionary funding to implement ObamaCare.
 
Cuts and Terminations – The legislation cuts or terminates several lower-priority, unproven, or unnecessary programs. For example, some of these cuts include:
 
  • A cut of $67.6 million for the International Labor Affairs Bureau as requested in the budget;
  • A cut of $80.6 million for the Employment Service Grants
  • A cut of $168 million for CMS program management;
  • A cut of $12.9 million for the NLRB.
 
Several programs were also terminated; some of these include:
 
  • CDC Climate Change program ($10 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention Grants ($108 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Regional Partnership Grants ($20 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Kinship Navigator Grants ($20 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Project AWARE State Grants ($71 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Screening, Brief Intervention, Referral, and Treatment ($28 million), consistent with the budget request,
  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics ($100 million), consistent with the budget request, and
  • Health Careers Opportunity Program ($14 million), consistent with the budget request. 
 
For the text of the draft FY 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education bill, please visit: