Today the Senate Appropriations Committee approved the FY 2014 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and the Legislative Branch (L-HHS-Education) bill by a vote of 16-14. The bill provides $165.6 billion in discretionary budget authority to make investments to reduce healthcare costs and improve the quality of health care delivery, improve early childhood care and education, and improve school safety and access to mental health services, among other things.
In her opening statement, Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) highlighted some key investments that the L-HHS-Education bill makes in early childhood education. The bill would increase funding for Head Start, Early Head Start, and Child Care Development Block Grants. The L-HHS-Education bill also funds universal Pre-K, which supports the President’s initiative to ensure that every four-year old can attend preschool. Finally, the bill fully funds the President’s request for implementing the Affordable Care Act.
The bill will now head to the Senate floor for consideration by the full Senate. The House has yet to mark up its Labor-HHS bill, so there is no way to provide a direct comparison at this time.