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Subcommittee Approves Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Bill

In quick fashion, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education approved, by voice vote, its FY2002 spending bill (as-yet-unnumbered). The noncontroversial mark-up came after appropriators reached a deal with the President on an overall FY2002 spending level of $686 billion, thereby increasing the allocation for the subcommittee. The full committee is scheduled to consider the bill on October 9.

Overall, the bill would provide $123.1 billion for programs funded under the measure, roughly $11 billion more than last year and $7 billion more than the original budget request. The Department of Education received the largest increase to $49.3 billion, $7 billion more than FY2001 and $4.7 billion more than the original request. The additional funding for education programs received bipartisan support from subcommittee members, and no amendments were offered during the 30-minute mark-up.

Department of Education: A number of new education initiatives are funded under the bill. The President’s new Reading First initiative would be funded at $975 million. Funding also would be provided for states to develop annual reading and math assessments. The bill would provide $400 million for this new initiative, $80 million more than the budget request. Grants to improve teacher quality would receive $3.175 billion, $575 million above the President’s request.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which provides funding to help disadvantaged children, would receive $10.5 billion, a $1.5 billion increase over the budget request. Special education grants would receive $7.7 billion, a $1.375 billion increase over last year and $375 million more than the President’s request.

The 21st Century After-School Centers program would receive a $154 million increase to $1 billion, the same amount requested by the President. Head Start also would receive a $276 million increase to $6.5 billion, $151 million more than the budget request.

Two programs important to women were level-funded: the Women’s Educational Equity Act (WEEA) would receive $3 million, and the Child Care Access Means Parents in School (CAMPUS) program would receive $25 million. The President did not request funding for WEEA; however, his budget proposal level-funded the CAMPUS program. The Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights, which oversees implementation of Title IX, would receive a $4.1 million increase to $79.93 million, the same amount requested by the President.

Additionally, the bill would eliminate funding for a class-size reduction program and a school renovation program, while consolidating or eliminating 35 federal elementary and secondary education programs.

Department of Health and Human Services: Funding for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) would be increased by $2.5 billion to $23 billion, the same amount requested by the President.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would receive a $200 million increase to $4.1 billion, $380 million more than the President’s request. HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis prevention programs would receive $1.15 billion, a $104 million increase over last year and $80 million more than the budget request.

The Ryan White CARE Act would receive $1.9 billion, a $112 million increase over last year and the President’s request. Community health centers also would receive a $150 million increase to $1.3 billion, $25 million more than the President’s request. Healthy Start would receive a $12 million increase to $102 million. The President had requested level funding.

Several block grants received increases under the bill. The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant would be funded at $740 million, a $25 million increase over last year and $30 million more than the President’s request. The Substance Abuse Performance Partnership Block Grant would receive a $60 million increase to $1.725 billion, the same amount requested by the President. The Mental Health Performance Partnership Block Grant would be funded at $440 million, a $20 million increase over FY2001 and the same amount requested by the President. The Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) would be funded at the President’s request of $2.2 billion, a $200 million increase over last year. The President had proposed a new after-school program, which would have been funded at $400 million through the CCDBG; however, the initiative was not funded in the bill.

The Social Services Block Grant received a $25 million decrease to $1.7 billion, the same amount as the budget request.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would receive $3.13 billion, a $168 million increase over FY2001 and $102 million more than the budget request. Of that amount, $97.69 million would be allocated for children’s mental health, $6 million more than last year and the budget request.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality would be funded at $308.245 million, the same as the budget request and $36.5 million more than last year.

Child support enforcement would receive a $200 million increase over last year to $3.883 billion, the same as the President’s request. Runaway and homeless youth programs would receive a $2 million increase to $71.133 million, the same amount requested by the President. Abandoned infants assistance would receive a $23,000 increase to $12.2 million, the same amount requested by the President. Adoption opportunities would be funded at $27.4 million, a $26,000 increase over last year and the same amount requested by the President. Additionally, an adoption awareness program would receive a $6,000 increase to $9.906 million, the same as the budget request.

Several Violence Against Women Act programs were level-funded: runaway youth prevention grants at $14.999 million and the National Domestic Violence Hotline at $2.157 million. Battered women’s shelters would receive a $10 million increase to $126.918 million, as requested in the budget. The President had requested level funding for the other programs.

The Promoting Safe and Stable Families Act would be level-funded at $305 million, the same amount requested by the President. Foster care payments would receive a slight reduction from $5.063 billion to $5.055 billion in FY2002, the same amount requested by the President. An independent living program for children who age out of foster care would be level-funded at $140 million, the same amount as the budget request. The National Family Caregivers Program, operated by the Administration on Aging, would receive a $12 million increase to $137 million. The President had requested a $10 million increase.

Abstinence-only sex education programs would receive $102 million in FY2002, a $22 million increase over last year and $10 million more than requested by the President. Of that amount, $40 million would be allocated to the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant’s Special Projects of Regional and National Significance, a $20 million increase over last year; $50 million would be allocated for abstinence-only sex education as specified under the 1996 welfare reform law; and $12 million would come from the Adolescent Family Life Act (AFLA). Overall, AFLA would receive a $3.5 million increase to $27.9 million. AFLA funds are used for abstinence-only sex education, as well as adolescent health care initiatives.

Title X, the nation’s family planning program would receive a $10 million increase to $264 million.

The Public Health Service’s Office of Minority Health would be reduced by $5.9 million to $43.08 million, the same amount requested by the President, while the Public Health Service’s Office of Women’s Health would receive a $9.5 million increase to $26.77 million, slightly less than the President’s request.

A minority HIV/AIDS initiative would be level-funded at $50 million, the same as the budget request.

The subcommittee-approved bill also would allow the NIH to transfer $100 million to a multilateral HIV/AIDS trust fund. An additional $100 million was provided under the FY2002 foreign operations appropriations bill.

The bill also would remove a provision that allowed states to transfer up to 10 percent of their Social Services Block Grant funds to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program.

The subcommittee-approved bill did not include funding for several of the President’s proposed initiatives, including maternity group homes, programs to promote responsible fatherhood, mentoring programs for children of prisoners, and an independent living proposal for children who age out of foster care.

Department of Labor:Dislocated worker assistance would be funded at $1.5 billion, $100 million more than FY2001 and $150 million more than the President’s request. The Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Act would be level-funded at $1 million, the same amount requested by the President.

The Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor would receive a $65,000 increase over last year to $10.251 million, also the same amount included in the budget request.

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