Washington Outlook

Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill Cuts Key Conference Priorities

May 15, 2000


As US Mayor went to press, both the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees approved FY 2001 spending bills for the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Education, making it one of the first appropriations bills to complete subcommittee mark-ups. The Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill is the largest of the 13 annual spending bills and has been difficult to pass except as part of a larger spending bill.

The House bill made significant cuts below the President's requests - approximately $3 billion in cuts in education programs, $1.7 billion in labor programs and $1.1 billion in health programs. The Senate also made some cuts but provided $4 billion more than the House's version of the bill. President Clinton stated that he will veto a bill that fails to address his Administration's major priorities.

Based on an early analysis, the impact on some key Conference priorities is as follows:

Employment and Training

  • Youth Training Formula Grants (including summer youth employment) - Level funded by both the House and the Senate at the FY 00 level of $1,001 million. The President requested a $22 million increase for FY 01. According to Conference estimates, even the President's $22 million increase does not make up for the shortfall of funds due to additional requirements under the Workforce Investment Act, which calls for comprehensive services and year-round follow up for all youth served. This level of funding will result in significant decreases in the number of youth served, including the number of youth employed in the summer. The Conference has requested $500 million under WIA in supplemental funding to address the shortfall of funds needed for this summer to continue serving 500,000 youth in summer jobs - the same number of youth served in 1999.

  • Youth Opportunity Grants - The House cut $200 million from the President's FY'01 budget request of $375 million, and the Senate level funded the program at the FY '00 level of $125 million. These cuts will eliminate expansion of the program and potentially reduce third year grants to the existing 36 local areas with Youth Opportunity Grants which fund competitive grants for out-of-school youth, especially in inner cities and other areas where unemployment rates are high.

  • Fathers Work/Families Win - Both the House and the Senate zeroed out the President's request for $255 million for a new "Fathers Work/Families Win" initiative in FY'01 to promote responsible fatherhood and support working families which builds on the Welfare-to-Work program.

Health and Human Services

  • State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) - The Senate deferred $1.9 billion in SCHIP until FY 2003. This essentially translates a cut for the thirteen states that will not have SCHIP carryover funds for next year.

  • Low Income Heating Assistance (LIHEAP) - The Senate canceled forward advance funding for YR 2002 appropriations. The funding for FY 2001 remains flat funded at $1.1 billion as it has been for the past few years.

Education

  • 100,000 Teachers/Class Size Reduction - The Senate provides $1.4 billion for the President's initiative to provide the third installment of the plan to help schools recruit, hire, and train 100,000 new teachers by 2005 and reduce class size in the early grades. The House provides no funding for the President's initiative. The President proposed $1.75 billion for FY 01, an increase of $450 million over FY 00, which would bring the total number of new teachers to 49,000.

On May 11, the Senate approved spending for Labor-HHS-Education appropriations in the full committee. The House plans a full committee mark-up on May 24. For more detail on the Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bills look for additional updates in USMAYOR and contact Conference staff as follows: for Labor and Education contact Joan Crigger at 202-861-6726, for Health and Human Services contact Crystal Swann at 202-861-6707.

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