You are here

Labor-HHS Appropriations

On July 24th, the House passed the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY 2010 (HR 3293) by a vote of 264-153, making vital investments in our country's long term prosperity by providing educational opportunity, expanding job training and shoring up our health and social services safety net.

Improving Education
Economists tell us that strategic investments in education are one of the best ways to help America become stronger, and more productive and competitive.  Also, in today's economy, a college degree matters more than ever before - and making college more affordable is critical.

  • Title I Grants for Low-Income Children:  Provides $14.5 billion for Title I grants to school districts, helping to ensure that 20 million disadvantaged children in nearly 55,000 public schools obtain the educational skills they need to compete in the global economy.  In addition, the Recovery Act provided $10 billion for Title I grants.  
  • School Improvement:  Provides $545 million for assistance to approximately 13,000 schools across the country with chronically poor academic performance.  With the funds in this bill and in the Recovery Act, states will receive approximately $4 billion in total during FY 2010 to assist these struggling schools. 
  • Teacher Incentive Fund:  Provides $446 million, $349 million above 2009, for the Teacher Incentive Fund, which supports school districts and states that aim to reward effective teaching through compensation systems that reward entire high-need schools for raising student achievement.  The Recovery Act also provided $200 million for the Teacher Incentive Fund.
  • Charter Schools:  Provides $256 million, $40 million above 2009, to support the start-up of over 1,300 new charter schools in FY 2010.  The bill also includes new accountability measures to ensure that new charter schools are successful.
  • Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA):  Provides $11.5 billion for IDEA (Special Education) to support a high quality education for 6.7 million students with disabilities.  This builds on the $11.3 billion in the Recovery Act to support a record 25 percent federal contribution toward special education in each of fiscal years 2009 and 2010.
  • Pell Grants:   In FY 2009, the Democratic-led Congress provided an historic $619 increase in the maximum Pell Grant, to $5,350.  This bill maintains the discretionary portion of the maximum Pell Grant at $4,860, which, combined with a mandatory supplement of $690, will a support a $5,550 maximum Pell Grant in FY 2010.  Since Democrats took over Congress in January 2007, the maximum Pell Grant has been increased by $1,500 or 37 percent - from $4,050 to $5,550. In FY 2010, 7.6 million college students will receive Pell Grants.
  • Support for Developing Institutions:  Provides $653 million, an increase of $146 million or 29 percent above 2009, to strengthen the capacity of Historically Black and Predominantly Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, Tribal Colleges and Universities and Native American-serving Institutions, Asian Pacific Islander, and Native American institutions. . 
  • TRIO and GEAR UP:  Provides $868 million, an increase of $20 million above 2009, for the TRIO programs, and $333 million, an increase of $20 million above 2009, for GEAR UP, to assist approximately 1.7 million disadvantaged and first-generation college students to prepare for, enter, and complete college - an increase of 51,000 students over FY 2009.

Key Job Training and Placement Initiatives
Key investments in this bill will help put unemployed youth and adults to work in this economic downturn through intensive employment assistance and case management, investment in skills training for displaced workers, and new approaches to helping the disadvantaged obtain decent and good-paying jobs.

  • Dislocated Worker Employment and Training Activities:  Provides $1.4 billion, $57 million above 2009, for training and supportive services for workers affected by mass layoffs and plant closures.  More than 500,000 workers lost their jobs in the first three months of 2009 due to mass layoffs.  These workers will also be assisted by $1.45 billion in the Recovery Act.
  • YouthBuild:  Provides $100 million, $30 million above 2009, to expand YouthBuild so that nearly 7,000 at-risk youth can gain high school credentials and construction skills training while building affordable housing for homeless families.  The Recovery Act also provided $50 million for YouthBuild. 
  • Transitional Jobs:  Provides $50 million for a new initiative based on a proven employment strategy to help noncustodial parents and workers with substantial barriers to entering the workforce. 
  • Green Jobs:  Provides $50 million to prepare workers for careers in energy efficiency and renewable energy.  This new Administration initiative will support pre-apprenticeship programs, career pathways, and other gateways for more than 8,000 workers to enter careers in emerging green industries.  The Recovery Act provided $500 million for green jobs.
  • Career Pathways Innovation Fund:  Provides $135 million, $10 million above 2009, for new competitive grants to community colleges and partnerships with local adult education providers for new career pathways to prepare workers for careers in high-demand and emerging industries.  The Committee directs approximately half of these funds, $65 million, must be used to train workers for careers in the health care sector, with a focus on nursing professions.  The Recovery Act also provided $250 million for training programs in high-growth industries.
  • Veterans Employment and Training:  Provides $265 million, $26 million above 2009, to maximize employment and training opportunities for veterans transitioning to the civilian workforce, and to protect their employment rights.  This amount includes $8 million in the Education Department for a new Centers of Excellence for Veterans Success initiative to establish college and university-based support centers for veterans seeking to obtain a post-secondary education. 
  • Unemployment Insurance Operations:  Provides $3.2 billion, $423.5 million above 2009, to help states process unemployment insurance claims.

Health Care Access, Training Health Care Workforce, & Other Priorities
There is a health care crisis in America today.  46 million Americans are without health coverage and 16 million more are underinsured.  Moreover, the weak economy, with rising unemployment, is causing even more people to lose their health insurance.  This bill contains provisions to protect access - until national health care reform is enacted.  Also, to prepare for national health care reform, it is also critical to build the capacity of the health care system - with the training of more primary care doctors and nurses.  These are some of the initiatives in this bill.

Health Care Access

  • Community Health Centers:  Provides $2.2 billion for Community Health Centers.  This funding will provide primary health care to 17 million patients, of whom 40 percent are uninsured, in 7,500 service delivery sites.  The Recovery Act also provided $2 billion for community health centers in fiscal years 2009 and 2010. 
  • State Health Access Grants:  Provides $75 million in second-year funding for State Health Access Grants to help states transition to national health care reform by expanding coverage for subgroups of their population to test initiatives before a national coverage system takes effect.  
  • State High-Risk Insurance Pools:  Provides $65 million to subsidize health insurance coverage for almost 200,000 individuals who are medically high-risk and unable to purchase individual health insurance in the commercial market.  

Training Health Care Workforce

  • Training to Meet Health Professions Workforce Shortages, Including Nursing:  Provides $530 million, $137 million above 2009, to support the training of health professionals in areas where there are shortages.  For example, the bill increases funding for the training of nurses by $92 million above 2009; this substantial increase is essential because the U.S. is in the midst of a nursing shortage that is expected to intensify as baby boomers age.
  • A Strategic Plan on Meeting Workforce Shortages:  The Appropriations Committee directs the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) and the Labor Department to jointly establish a strategic plan to address emerging workforce needs in the health care sector, particularly in light of pending national health care reform.

Other Health Priorities

  • NIH:  Provides $31.3 billion, $942 million above 2009, for biomedical research to improve health and reduce health care expenditures.  NIH research will help doctors move away from today's costly and predominantly curative model to a presumptive model, allowing intervention before disease occurs.
  • Public Health Activities:  Provides $6.7 billion, $67 million above 2009, for public health activities administered by the CDC, such as efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and to intensify surveillance on emerging infectious diseases like MRSA and novel influenzas.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services:  Provides $3.6 billion, $85 million above 2009,  for Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) programs.
  • Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs):  Provides $204 million, $34 million above 2009, to continue an aggressive campaign to dramatically reduce life-threatening infections that patients acquire while receiving treatment for medical or surgical conditions.  HAIs are among the top ten causes of death in the U.S., accounting for $28 to $33 billion in excess health care costs each year.

Shoring Up The Social Services Safety Net

  • LIHEAP:  Provides $5.1 billion for LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance) to ensure that approximately 7.5 million low-income households continue to receive the assistance they need.
  • Head Start: Provides $7.2 billion, $122 million above 2009, to sustain high-quality, comprehensive early childhood services, including educational, health, nutritional, and social services, to approximately 978,000 low-income children before they enter school, nearly 70,000 over the FY 2008 level.
  • Nutrition and Other Services for Seniors:  Provides $1.5 billion for nutrition, transportation, and other supportive services for seniors.  This funding will help provide nearly 239 million meals to 2.5 million seniors, an increase of about 3 million meals above 2009. 
  • Teen Pregnancy Prevention:  Provides $114 million for a new evidence-based teen pregnancy prevention initiative in the HHS Administration for Children and Families to address a rise in teenage births, following a 34 percent decline between 1991 and 2006.

Other Key Provisions

  • Corporation for National and Community Service:  Provides $1 billion, $169 million above 2009.  This funding, together with Recovery Act funds, will increase the number of AmeriCorps members by 15,000 volunteers, and the number of Senior Volunteers by more than 9,000.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting: Provides $541 million, $50 million above 2009, for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which includes $40 million for one-time fiscal stabilization grants to forestall layoffs and cutbacks in essential programming. 

Fiscal Responsibility

  • The 12 Appropriations Bills Are Fiscally Responsible -- $10 Billion Below the President's Proposed Budget: The budget conference report adopted by the Congress in April required a cut in discretionary spending in FY 2010 of $10 billion below the funding requested by President Obama in his budget.  As a result, the 12 FY 2010 appropriations bills overall must be $10 billion below the President's budget.
  • This Bill Eliminates 28 Programs and Cuts Funding below 2009 for Another 16 Programs - Achieving Gross Savings of $1.3 Billion:  The Labor-HHS-Education bill is fiscally responsible, targeting dollars to high-priority needs, while eliminating 28 programs and cutting funding below 2009 for another 16 programs.  An example of a program eliminated is the Safe and Drug-Free Schools program, whose funding has been spread so broadly that it has proven to be ineffective; and an example of a program where funding is reduced is CDC Buildings and Facilities.