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Congress Approves Conference Reports for FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Defense Spending Bills

This week, Congress approved the conference reports for the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies; and Department of Defense spending bills. The Department of Defense conference report contains a second continuing resolution that will fund the federal government and District of Columbia at FY2007 levels through December 14, 2007.

President Bush vetoed the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill on November 13. The same day, he signed the Department of Defense spending bill into law.

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies

On November 6, the House approved, 269-142, the conference report for the FY2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies spending bill (H.R. 3043). The Senate approved the conference report, 56-37, on November 7. The House approved H.R. 3043 on July 19 (see The Source, 7/20/07); the Senate approved the bill on October 23 (see The Source, 10/26/07).

The measure would allocate $150.698 billion in discretionary funds in FY2008, $6.173 billion more than FY2007 and $9.782 billion over President Bush’s request.

The House had incorporated the text of H.R. 2642, the FY2008 Military Quality of Life, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies spending bill, into the conference report for H.R. 3043. However, on November 7, the Senate voted, 47-46, to remove the provisions related to H.R. 2642 from the conference report for H.R. 3043. The conference report was then returned to the House where it was approved, 274-141, without the Military Quality of Life, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies provisions. President Bush has said he intends to veto the bill.

Department of Labor

The Women In Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations (P.L. 102-530) program would receive level funding of $1 million in FY2008. The administration would have eliminated the program.

The Department of Labor Women’s Bureau would receive $10.3 million in FY2008, $634,000 more than FY2007 and $468,000 more than the budget request.

Dislocated worker assistance would be level-funded at $1.472 billion in FY2008, $356.964 million more than the administration’s request.

Job Corps would receive $1.651 billion in FY2008, $72.239 million below FY2007 and $128.144 million less than President Bush’s request.

Youthbuild would receive $62.5 million in FY2008, $13 million above FY2007 and $12.5 million more than the budget request.

In accordance with the administration’s request, the Responsible Reintegration of Youthful Offenders program and the Prisoner Re-entry initiative would be merged into a new program the Reintegration of Ex-Offenders. The new program would receive $78.694 million in FY2008, $39.094 million more than President Bush’s request. The Responsible Reintegration of Youthful Offenders program and Prisoner Re-entry initiative received $49.104 million and $19.642 million in FY2007, respectively.

The bill would fund the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB) at $82.516 million, $10 million above FY2007 and $68.419 million more than President Bush’s request. The “conferees’ recommendation for the ILAB also includes $41 million for the U.S. contribution to the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor and $24 million for bilateral assistance to improve access to basic education in international areas with a high rate of abusive and exploitative child labor.”

Department of Health and Human Services

Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA): HRSA programs would receive $7.26 billion in FY2008, $844.768 million more than FY2007 and $1.44 billion more than the budget request.

Community health centers would receive $2.213 billion in FY2008, $224.981 million more than FY2007 and $224.553 million more than the budget request.

The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant would receive $683 million, $10 million less than FY2007 and the administration’s request. Within this amount, “the conferees have included $6.7 million for resources to help women prepare for childbirth and first-time parents. Within this amount, the conferees intend that $5.2 million shall be for grants to states to increase outreach and counseling efforts, as proposed by the House.”

The conference agreement “provides $3 million within the SPRANS [Special Projects of Regional and National Significance] set-aside to continue newborn and child screening for heritable disorders.”

The Healthy Start infant mortality initiative would receive level funding of $110.759 million in FY2008, $9.241 million above FY2007 and $10.256 million above President Bush’s request.

Universal newborn hearing screening would receive $11.5 million in FY2008, $1.696 million more than FY2007. The administration would have eliminated the program.

Ryan White: The Ryan White Care Act would receive a total of $2.222 billion, a $84.261 million increase over FY2007 and $64.144 million more than the administration’s request. Included in that amount is $75.3 million for Part D of the Ryan White CARE Act, $3.506 above FY2007 and the administration’s request. Part D provides funding for programs for children, youth, women, and families.

National Cord Stem Cell Inventory: The National Cord Stem Cell Inventory would be funded at $12 million in FY2008, $8.037 million over FY2007 and $10.034 million above the budget request.

Family Planning: Title X, the nation’s family planning program, would receive $310.91 million, $27.784 million over FY2007 and $27.807 million more than President Bush’s request.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): The measure would allocate $6.615 billion for the CDC in FY2008, a $349.639 million increase over FY2007 and $632.66 million more than the administration’s request.

The conference agreement “includes bill language that not to exceed $19.414 million may be available for making grants for the WISEWOMAN [Well-Integrated Screening and Evaluation for Women Across the Nation] program to not less than 15 states, tribes, or tribal organizations.” The mission of the WISEWOMAN program is to provide low-income, under- or uninsured 40- to 64-year-old women with the knowledge, skills, and opportunities to improve diet, physical activity, and other lifestyle behaviors to prevent, delay, and control cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

“Within the amount provided for cancer control and prevention, the conference agreement includes the following amounts: $207.551 to expand breast and cervical activities…$6.75 million to carry out activities authorized by Johanna’s Law [P.L. 109-475]…[and] $5.5 million for activities related to ovarian cancer.”

Interstitial cystitis programs would receive $720,000 in FY2008.

According to the conference report, safe motherhood/infant health programs would receive $45.331 million. Included in that amount is $236,000 for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome prevention activities.

Injury prevention and control programs would receive $143.511 million in FY2008. Included in that amount is $28.841 million for youth violence prevention and $43.731 million for rape prevention activities.

Global health programs would receive $377.352 million, including $121.541 million for the global AIDS program.

National Institutes of Health (NIH): The NIH would receive $29.708 billion in FY2008, $899.113 million more than FY2007 and $1.379 billion more than the administration’s request.

The conference report allocates $300 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Malaria, and Tuberculosis.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): SAMHSA would receive $3.416 billion in FY2008, $88.49 million more than FY2007 and $247.922 million more than the budget request.

Mental health programs of regional and national significance would provide $30 million for grants to states and tribes, $5 million to campus-based programs, and $5 million for a Suicide Prevention Resource Center for youth suicide prevention and early intervention programs.

“Within the funds provided for substance abuse treatment programs of regional and national significance, the conference agreement provides $12 million for residential treatment programs for pregnant and postpartum women and their children.”

Center for Mental Health Services: The bill would provide $927.763 million in FY2008 for mental health services, a $43.905 million increase above FY2007 and $120.535 million above the administration’s request.

The Mental Health Block Grant would be level-funded at $428.256 million as requested by President Bush.

As requested by the administration, children’s mental health services would be level-funded at $104.078 million in FY2008.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT): The measure would provide $2.193 billion for substance abuse treatment programs in FY2008. This allocation is $35.814 million more than FY2007 and $82.673 million more than the administration’s request.

Included in that amount, the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant would be funded at $1.776 billion, $17.5 million more than FY2007 and the administration’s request.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ): The bill would fund AHRQ at $334.564 million in FY2008, $15.578 million more than FY2007 and $5 million more than the administration’s request.

Administration for Children and Families

Social Services Block Grant (SSBG): As requested by the administration, the SSBG would be level-funded at $1.7 billion in FY2008.

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG): The CCDBG would be funded at $2.1 billion in FY2008, $37.5 million more than FY2007 and President Bush’s request. Included in that amount is $5 million to assist small businesses with child care.

Child and Family Services Programs: Head Start would receive $7.042 billion, including advance funding that will become available on October 1, 2008. This amount is $153.625 million more than FY2007 and $253.625 million more than the administration’s request.

Consolidated runaway and homeless youth programs would receive $100.337 million in FY2008, $12.5 million more than FY2007 and the administration’s request.

Child abuse and neglect prevention and treatment activities would be funded at $107.463 million in FY2008, $12.246 million above FY2007 and $1.888 million more than the budget request.

Programs to increase abandoned infant assistance would be level-funded at $11.835 million in FY2008, as requested by the administration.

As requested by the administration, child welfare services and training programs would be level-funded at $294.089 million in FY2008.

Adoption: The measure would provide level funding of $26.848 million for adoption opportunities, as requested by the administration. Adoption awareness programs would be funded at $13.674 million, $1 million more than FY2007 and President Bush’s request. Adoption incentives would be funded at $4.4 million, $600,000 below FY2007, and $9.1 million below President Bush’s request.

Child Support Enforcement: As requested by the administration, the measure would allocate $3.911 billion for payments to states for child support enforcement and family support programs, $513.965 million less than FY2007.

International Trafficking: Under the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account, a program to aid victims of trafficking would be level-funded at $9.817 million in FY2008, the same as FY2007 and $1 million less than the president’s request.

Unaccompanied Minors: Under the Refugee and Entrant Assistance Account, a program to assist minors entering the country without a parent or guardian would receive $131.399 million in FY2008, $36.081 million more than FY2007 and $3.263 million below the budget request.

The report states, “After addressing increased shelter and medical costs, the conferees direct ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] to use the increase provided for the unaccompanied minors program to expand the pro bono legal services initiative.”

Mentoring Children of Prisoners: The Mentoring Children of Prisoners program would be level-funded at $49.493 million in FY2008, $507,000 less than the administration’s request.

Promoting Safe and Stable Families: The Promoting Safe and Stable Families program would be level-funded at $434.1 million in FY2008, an amount equal to the budget request.

Violence Against Women: The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA) (P.L. 98-457) would receive $130.866 million in FY2008, $6.135 million above FY2007 and the budget request. The FVPSA awards grants to public and private entities to promote domestic violence intervention and prevention activities, including shelter services for victims.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline would receive $3.085 million in FY2008, $115,000 above FY2007 and the budget request.

Abstinence-only Education: As requested by the administration, the bill would provide $141.164 million for the abstinence education program in FY2008, $27.764 million above FY2007.

The conferees “direct the secretary of Health and Human Services to require that each applicant for financial assistance under the abstinence education program certify that all materials proposed in the application and funded during the project period of the grant are medically accurate, and directs that a panel of medical experts shall review such grant applications and assess whether the proposed materials are medically accurate.”

The conference report also includes $10 million that may be used to carry out a national abstinence education campaign.”

Administration on Aging: The Administration on Aging’s Supportive Services and Senior Centers would receive $357.595 million in FY2008, $7 million more than FY2007 and the administration’s request. Family caregiver support programs would be funded at $158.167 million in FY2008, $2 million more than FY2007 and $4 million above President Bush’s request.

Office of the Secretary

Public Health Service’s Office of Minority Health: The Office of Minority Health would receive $49.82 million in FY2008, $3.835 million less than FY2007 and $6.045 million more than the administration’s request.

Public Health Service’s Office on Women’s Health (OWH): The Office on Women’s Health would be funded at $31.585 million in FY2008, $3.339 million more than FY2007 and $4.196 million more than the budget request.

The conferees “have included sufficient funds for OWH to work with the advocacy community to develop and implement a sustained lupus awareness and education campaign aimed at reaching health care professionals and the general public with an emphasis on reaching women at greatest risk for developing lupus. The agreement also includes $1 million for the Institute of Medicine to conduct a comprehensive review of the status of women’s health, summarize what has been learned about how diseases specifically affect women, and report to the Congress on suggestions for the direction of future research.”

Minority HIV/AIDS: As requested by President Bush, the measure would provide level funding of $51.891 million for minority HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment activities.

Adolescent Family Life: The Adolescent Family Life program would receive level funding of $30.307 million in FY2008, an amount equal to the administration’s request.

Embryo Adoption Awareness Campaign: The measure would provide $4 million for embryo adoption awareness in FY2008, $2.02 million above FY2007 and the president’s request.

Office for Civil Rights: As requested by the administration, the office would receive $37.062 million in FY2008, $2.153 million more than FY2007.

Department of Education

No Child Left Behind: Title I Grants to local educational agencies under the No Child Left Behind Act (P.L. 107-110) would receive $14.311 billion in FY2008, $1.473 billion above FY2007 and $401.462 million more than the administration’s request.

The Fund for the Improvement of Education: The Fund would receive $262.917 million in FY2008. Included in that amount is $2.9 million for the Women’s Educational Equity Act (WEEA) (P.L. 93-380). WEEA promotes education equity for women and girls through competitive grants for the local implementation of gender-equity policies and practices.

William F. Goodling Even Start Family Literacy Program: The family literacy program would receive $62.636 million in FY2008, $19.647 below FY2007. Under the administration’s request, this program would not have received funding.

Reading First and Early Reading First: The bill would fund the Reading First program at $400 million in FY2008, $629.234 million less than FY2007 and $618.692 million less than President Bush’s request. The Early Reading First program would be funded at $114.55 million in FY2008, $3.116 million less than FY2007 and President Bush’s request.

Teacher Quality: Under the bill, level funding of $3.037 billion would be provided to states to improve teacher quality in FY2008, $150 million more than FY2007 and $249.951 million above the administration’s request.

Math and Science Partnerships: The Math and Science Partnerships program would receive $183.08 million in FY2008, $920,000 more than FY2007 and $956,000 more than President Bush’s request.

Mentoring Programs: Mentoring programs would receive $49.407 million in FY2008, $593,000 million more than FY2007. Under the administration’s budget request, these programs would not have received funding.

21st Century Community Learning Centers: The learning centers would be funded at $1.081 billion in FY2008, $100 million above FY2007 and President Bush’s request.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): Total spending for state grants for special education would be $12.116 billion in FY2008, a $518.264 million increase over FY2007 and $820.617 million more than the budget request.

Education for Homeless Children and Youth: Under the bill, these programs would receive level funding of $66.878 million in FY2008. This amount is $5 million more than FY2007 and the administration’s request.

Vocational Education: The measure would level-fund vocational education at $1.319 billion in FY2008, $22.558 million more than FY2007 and $701.498 million more than the budget request.

Adult Education: In FY2008, adult education would be funded at $590.163 million, $10.6 million more than FY2007 and $10.335 million above the administration’s request.

Pell Grants: The bill would provide $14.498 billion in FY2008 for Pell Grants. This amount is $837.289 million more than FY2007 and $1.084 billion more than the president’s request. The maximum Pell Grant award would increase to $4,435 in FY2008, $125 more than FY2007 and $385 above President Bush’s request.

Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CCAMPIS): CCAMPIS would be funded at $16.81 million in FY2008, $1 million more than FY2007 and the administration’s request.

Office for Civil Rights: The measure would provide $93.771 million in FY2008 for the Office for Civil Rights to enforce laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, and age in all programs and institutions funded by the Department of Education. This funding level is $2.566 million more than FY2007 and equal to the budget request.

Department of Defense

On November 8, the House approved, 400-15, the conference report for the FY2008 Department of Defense spending bill (H.R. 3222). The Senate approved, by voice vote, the conference report on November 8. The Senate approved the bill on October 3 (see The Source, 10/5/07); the House approved it on August 5 (see The Source, 8/3/07).

The conference report includes a continuing resolution to fund government programs until December 14, 2007. The current continuing resolution expires November 16 (see The Source, 9/28/07). Under the continuing resolution, government programs and the District of Columbia would be funded at FY2007 levels.

The bill allocates $460.303 billion in FY2008, $113.19 billion less than FY2007 (including emergency and supplemental appropriations) and $178.797 billion less than the administration’s request (including requested emergency and supplemental appropriations).

The measure provides $23.459 billion for Department of Defense health programs, $917.568 million more than President Bush’s request. Included in that amount is $138 million for the peer-reviewed breast cancer research program, $10 million for the peer-reviewed ovarian cancer research program, and $4 million for the Gynecological Cancer Center at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

Army medical technology programs will receive $185.434 million in FY2008, $108.89 million above the budget request. Included in that amount is $3.2 million for the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Women’s Cancer Genomics Center and $1.6 million for the Armed Services Gynecological Cancer Health program.

The Parents as Teachers Heroes at Home program will receive $2.4 million in FY2008. The program provides parent education and family support for young military families.

The Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program is allocated $50 million in FY2008. The conferees “recommend the following projects as candidates for study: amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, blood cancer, diabetes, Duchenne’s disease, drug abuse, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, interstitial cystitis, leishmaniasis, lupus, kidney cancer, mesothelioma, multiple sclerosis, neurofibromatosis, Paget’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, polycystic kidney disease, social work research, tinnitus, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex research. The conferees reiterate that the funds provided under the Peer Reviewed Medical Research Program shall only be used for the purposes listed above.”

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