CHN: Senate Committee Approves Labor-HHS-Education Bill

Committee Provides More Discretionary Spending Than President’s Request
Increasing discretionary spending by $5.8 billion over the President’s request, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed the fiscal year 2003 Labor-Health and Human Services-Education Appropriations bill on Thursday, July 18. Most notably, the measure – passed by a unanimous vote – will reach the Senate floor with an increase of $2.8 billion in discretionary funding for education.

Overall, the Senate appropriations bill for fiscal year 2003 is seven percent higher than last year. The measure provides a total of $432.5 billion – $136.7 billion of which is discretionary spending – for the Labor, HHS, and Education departments. President Bush requested a discretionary total of $131 billion.

The House version of the fiscal year 2003 Labor-HHS-Education spending bill is not expected to move beyond committee before the August recess. According to Rep. Ralph Regula (R-OH), chairman of the House Appropriations Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee, House appropriators will not exceed the President’s discretionary mark of $131 billion.

The Senate Appropriations Committee-approved Labor-HHS-Education spending bill appropriated the following levels of funding for these select federal departments, agencies, and programs:


JOB TRAINING: The Senate bill restores over $500 million in cuts to job training programs. The President’s budget cuts adult job training by $50 million and youth training by $362 million. The President’s budget completely eliminates the $81 million migrant and seasonal farm worker program.

JOB CORPS: The measure provides $1.5 billion for Job Corps, an increase of $59.7 million over last year.

DISLOCATED WORKER TRAINING: The Senate bill provides $1.54 billion for dislocated worker training, an increase of $177.5 million over last year, and $166 million more than the President’s request. These funds assist workers affected by mass layoffs and plant closures.

WORKER PROTECTION PROGRAMS: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), Mine Safety Health Administration, Employment Standards Administration, and the National Labor Relations Board are increased by inflation.


SOCIAL SERVICES BLOCK GRANT (SSBG): The Senate bill appropriates $1.7 billion for SSBG. The amount of TANF funding available for transfer into SSBG is maintained at 10 percent.

NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH: The bill would increase NIH funding by $3.7 billion, bringing the total to $27.2 billion. This is $25 million over the President’s request, and would achieve the goal of doubling NIH funding over the next five years.

COMMUNITY HEALTH CENTERS: The Senate bill includes $1.5 billion for Community Health Centers. This figure is $75 million more than the President requested and $190 million more than last year.

HEAD START: The Senate bill provides $6.87 billion for Head Start, an increase of $332 million over last year, thus serving 17,000 additional children.

LOW INCOME HOME EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP): The bill maintains LIHEAP funding at $1.7 billion. This is $300 million more than the President’s budget request.


TITLE I: Funding for Title I – a program that provides aid to states and school districts to help poor and educationally disadvantaged students – is $11.85 billion, $1.5 billion more than last year and $500 million beyond the President’s request. Title I funds will be instrumental in implementing the recently passed omnibus education bill.

PELL GRANTS: Pell grant funding is slightly increased. Pell grants assist low and moderate-income undergraduate students with the costs of postsecondary education and vocational training.

RURAL EDUCATION: The Senate bill provides an increase to $175 million in funding for the rural education program for fiscal year 2003. Last year’s total was $162.5 million.

TEACHER QUALITY: The Senate bill provides an increase of $250 million in teacher quality activities, for a total of $3.1 billion. President Bush’s request does not include funding for teacher quality initiatives. These funds may be used for the certification, recruitment, professional development, and support of teachers.

READING FIRST: The Senate bill provides $1 billion for Reading First – a program aimed at helping states and school districts administer literacy programs to ensure that all students can read by the third grade. This is an increase of $100 million over last year.

TRIO: The TRIO Program for minority and disadvantaged youth received $832.5 million. This is an increase of $30 million over both last year’s level and the President’s budget request.

21st CENTURY COMMUNITY LEARNING CENTERS: Funding for 21st Century Community Learning Centers is at $1.09 billion, an increase of $90 million over last year and the Administration’s budget request.

BILINGUAL EDUCATION: The bill appropriates $740 million for bilingual education programs, $75 million more than fiscal year 2002 and the President’s request.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The Senate bill matches the President’s request for special education funding, appropriating $8.5 billion for special education state grants. This figure is $1 billion higher than last year’s funding level.

Budget and Appropriations
Housing and Homelessness
Job Training and Education
Labor and Employment