House Releases Draft of Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill

The House Appropriations Committee released a draft of the Fiscal Year 2013 (FY 2013) Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill on Wednesday and the bill passed out of the subcommittee the following day by a vote of 8 to 6.

Overall the bill cuts more than $6 billion in discretionary funding from current levels.  The majority of programs are flat-funded at current levels, but there are some notable increases and decreases.  The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA) is cut by $194 million and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is funded $111 million below last year’s level.   However, Head Start and child care do receive modest funding increases of $46 million and $25 million respectively, although these increases are lower than they both receive under the Senate bill.  Finally, the bill again de-funds many of the programs integral to the President’s health care reform law, which would make implementing the law difficult if not impossible.

The timeline on full House consideration of the Labor-HHS bill has yet to be determined, but with three weeks left in session before the next break the House has plenty of time to pass it before leaving for the five-week long summer recess.    The Labor, HHS bill is the last of the 12 annual spending bills and is expected to head to the full committee next week.

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