Today, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft fiscal year (FY) 2012 Labor, Health and Human Services (Labor-HHS) bill, which includes funding for the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies. The bill includes $153.4 billion in discretionary funding, approximately $4 billion below the FY 2011 enacted levels.
The Department of Health and Human Services receives a total of $70.2 billion in new discretionary budget authority, which is $200 million below the last year’s level. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration receives $3.1 billion in funding ($283 million below FY 11). The Health Resources and Services Administration received $6.7 billion in new discretionary budget authority, a $447 million increase above FY 2011.
Highlights of the bill include a $540 million increase for Head Start, a $2 million increase for the Community Services Block Grant, and a $16 million increase for the Substance Abuse Block Grant. The bill provides $2.2 billion (the same as FY 2011) for the Child Care and Development Block Grant and unlike the Senate bill, maintains funding for the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant. The bill proposes the elimination of the Pregnancy Assistance Fund, the Maternal, Infant and Early Child Health Home Visiting program, and the Title X Family Planning Grants.
The biggest difference between the House and Senate Labor-HHS bills is that the former contains several provisions intended to defund the Affordable Care Act and prevent the Administration from implementing the new law. Although the committee has released draft bill language, the subcommittee has yet to reschedule their mark-up.