U.S. Rep. Pocan: Highlights priorities in the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and related agencies FY 2020 funding bill

Contact: Ron Boehmer 202-225-2906

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Representative Mark Pocan (WI-02) today released the following statement regarding the House Appropriations Subcommittee markup of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill for FY 2020.

“House Democrats promised to fight for workers, expand access to health care, improve the quality of education, and strengthen the middle class. With the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill, Democrats are delivering on these promises,” said Pocan. “Despite President Trump’s proposed reckless cuts, we have fought to ensure robust funding for programs that serve millions of Americans. From increasing funding for research Alzheimer’s and HIV/AIDS, to disregarding the Administration’s elimination of funding for Special Olympics, House Democrats are making critical investments in our future. I’m grateful for Chairwoman DeLauro’s work on this bill and look forward to moving it through the full Appropriations Committee and seeing it become law.”

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies FY 2020 Appropriations Bill Highlights

The largest non-defense appropriations bill is increased by $11 billion over FY 2019 levels. Some of Pocan’s requested priorities include:

Department of Labor (DOL): The bill includes a total of $13.3 billion for DOL, an increase of $1.2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $2.4 billion above the President’s budget request. This includes:

  • $1.8 billion for Worker Protection Agencies, $237 million above the fiscal year 2019 enacted level and $210 million above the President’s budget request. Within this amount, the bill includes:
    • $298 million for the Wage and Hour Division, an increase of $69 million above the 2019 enacted level and $66 million above the President’s budget request.
    • $661 million for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, an increase of $103 million above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request.
    • $120 million for the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, an increase of $17 million above the 2019 enacted level and $16 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $341 million for the National Labor Relations Board, an increase an increase of $67 million above the 2019 enacted level and $100 million above the President’s budget request.
  • $250 million for Registered Apprenticeships, an increase of $90 million above both the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request.

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS): The bill includes a total of $99.0 billion for HHS, an increase of $8.5 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $20.9 billion above the President’s budget request.

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH): The bill provides a total of $41.1 billion for NIH, an increase of $2 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $6.9 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • Additionally, the bill provides sufficient funding to increase the appropriation for each Institute and Center by nearly five percent.
  • The bill continues to support several critical research initiatives, including:
  • $2.4 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research
  • $3.2 billion for HIV/AIDS research
  • $1.9 billion for Mental Health Research
  • The bill also includes a $1 million increase in a private, public partnership cooperative agreement on poverty research. (Poverty Research Center at UW-Madison)
  • Further, the bill provides an increase of $4 billion for early childhood programs, including:
  • $7.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, an increase of $2.4 billion above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request
  • $11.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $1.5 billion above the 2019 enacted level and the President’s budget request
  • Other HHS Provisions:
  • Increases funding to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) and places major restrictions on use of funding to return ORR to core mission of caring for refugees, and unaccompanied children. To prevent ORR from becoming an arm of ICE and continue Trump’s cruel Family Separation Program

Department of Education (ED): This bill provides a total of $75.9 billion in discretionary appropriations for ED, an increase of $4.4 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $11.9 billion above the President’s budget request. This includes:

  • $14.5 billion for Special Education, an increase of $1.05 billion above the 2019 enacted level and $1.07 billion above the President’s budget request.
  • $21 million for Special Olympics education programs, an increase of $3.5 million above the 2019 enacted level. The President’s budget proposes to eliminate this program.
  • Includes language to require Department of Education to improve oversight of the use of taxpayer dollars going to charter schools.

Higher Education: The bill provides $2.7 billion for higher education programs, an increase of $431 million above the 2019 enacted level and $1.2 billion above the President’s budget request.

  • Helping first generation students reach college: $1.1 billion for Federal TRIO programs, an increase of $100 million above the 2019 enacted level and $210 million above the President’s budget request.
  • Increases maximum Pell Grant amount by $150 to keep up with inflation.
  • The bill provides $917 million, an increase of $251 million over the 2019 enacted level, to assist primarily Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in the Aid for Institutional Development account.
  • Includes language that requires ED to transparently and clearly implement the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Other Related Agencies

  • Increased funding for Low-Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) by $150 million over 2019 levels.
  • The bill strikes a provision supported by the Trump Administration that would have prohibited home health aides paid directly by Medicaid from having union dues and benefit contributions automatically deducted from their paychecks.
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