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Rep. Cole Votes for Labor HHS Appropriations, America's Students, Families and Workers

September 9, 2004
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – To continue his commitment to education, healthcare and America's workers, Congressman Tom Cole voted today for the Labor Health and Human Services Bill (H.R. 5006). This legislation passed the House, 388-13.

"This legislation meets the needs of America's students, families and workers. It meets the needs of Oklahomans by increasing funding for Impact Aid, Special Education, GEARUP and TRIO programs and provides funds for key health care initiatives and worker training and assistant programs," Congressman Cole said.

Education funding under this bill will rise to $57.7 billion, which is a two billion dollar increase. Impact Aid funding would increase $21 million over last year's funding level. TRIO and GEARUP, programs to help minority and disadvantaged students prepare for and succeed in college, will receive a funding increase of $10 million and $20 million, respectively.

"This legislations shows fiscal responsibility by holding the overall spending increase to only two percent," Congressman Cole said.

H.R. 5006 is funded at $142.32 billion, which is a $2.9 billion increase over last year. This legislation must now be considered by the Senate.

Other highlights from this bill include:

Community Health Centers.  Centers are expanded in what will be the fourth year of the President's proposed expansion of health services through the Community Health Centers Program.  Total funding is at $1.8 billion, $219 million over last year and the same as the President's request.

  • Head Start.  Funding is increased $123 million over last year's level, bringing total FY05 funding to $6.9 billion.   This funding level will allow Head Start to maintain current service levels while ensuring that quality improvements and training elements are fully implemented.
  • Special Education.  Grants are funded at $11.1 billion, which is $1 billion more than last year.  This is the highest level in history and over three times the amount provided in 1995.
  • Social Security.  Provides a six percent increase to the Social Security Administration to improve service delivery of Social Security benefits and accelerate the time it takes to process disability claims.
  • Worker Training.  Restores funding for core job training and employment assistance programs of the Department of Labor.
  • Dislocated Worker Assistance.  Funded at $1.479 billion, adding $95.3 million over the budget request.