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Appropriations Committee Approves the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services Funding Bill

June 24, 2015
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – The House Appropriations Committee today approved the draft fiscal year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill on a vote of 30-21. 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 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $3.7 billion below the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $14.6 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 activities to ensure Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid services are efficient, effective, and accountable to those Americans they serve. While making these important investments, the bill reduces funding in lower-priority areas, and cuts ineffective or wasteful programs and agencies.

The legislation also contains several policy provisions to improve government oversight, protect the rights of all Americans, and bolster economic growth. These provisions will rein in unnecessary regulatory overreach that ties the hands of employers and undermines job creation, maintain longstanding life policies and constitutional protections, and ensure that taxpayer dollars are being appropriately spent. In addition, the legislation defunds existing ObamaCare programs and prohibits any new discretionary funding from being used to further implement ObamaCare.  

“The funding in this bill is targeted to programs that are proven to produce results. The American people rely on these investments for life-saving research, protection from deadly outbreaks and bio-attacks, safe workplaces, and effective education systems,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “In addition, great efforts were made to ensure none of the funding in the bill is spent wastefully or inappropriately. This includes terminating unnecessary programs, trimming back lower-priority areas, and preventing tax dollars from going toward extreme, intrusive regulations that have a net negative effect on this nation.”

“This is a fiscally responsible bill that reduces discretionary spending by nearly $4 billion. At the same time, by carefully reprioritizing where taxpayer dollars are spent, the bill increases funding for important programs that benefit the American people. Specifically, funding is targeted to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, special education, Head Start, and a number of programs aimed at helping Native American youth. And through the inclusion of several important policy provisions, we have taken steps to rein in the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board,” LHHS Subcommittee Chairman Tom Cole said. “This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer, setting us on a path that will reduce the deficit while funding programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans.”

The following amendments to the FY 2016 LHHS Appropriations bill were adopted by the full committee today:

Rep. Cole – The amendment makes technical and non-controversial changes to the bill and report. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.  

Rep. Roybal-Allard – The amendment designates $750,000 in funding within the Children and Families Services Programs account to be used for a Child Poverty Study. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kilmer – The amendment adds report language urging the Department of Education to provide clear and timely guidance to local school districts on how to calculate tax rates for the purposes of receiving certain types of federal aid. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Harris – The amendment prohibits funding to implement or enforce a National Labor Relations Board ruling that allows certain groups of employees within a larger company to form separate unions. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote.

Rep. Kaptur – The amendment adds report language directing the Secretary of HHS, in consultation with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), to provide a report on certain prescription drug costs for Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA, as well as comparisons of these costs to other countries. In addition, it directs HHS to review and report on steps taken to competitively reduce prescription drug costs since 2001. The amendment was adopted on a voice vote. 

The bill was adopted on a vote of 30-21. 

For a summary of the bill, click here.

For the text of the bill, click here

For the bill report, click here.


Link to original release via the House Committee on Appropriations