The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee passed their fiscal year 2013 Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill yesterday by a mostly partisan vote of 8 to 6, with Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) joining all the Democrats in voting against the bill. While overall the bill included steep funding cuts to a number of education and human service programs (more than $1.2 billion in cuts to K-12 education), it did not include a cut to the 21st
Century Community Learning Centers (21st
CCLC) initiative, the only federal funding stream dedicated to afterschool, before-school and summer learning programs. Instead 21st
CCLC was funded at the same level as last year, $1.151 billion—a testament to the strong bipartisan support for afterschool and the outreach of parents and friends of afterschool programs. In a significant improvement over the president’s budget and the Senate appropriations bill
the House bill does not allow 21st
CCLC funding to be diverted to support other programs. Many of the programs that support children and youth in the afterschool and summer learning space were frozen or level funded, and child care received a modest increase—all of which is a testament to bipartisan support for afterschool. AmeriCorps and VISTA are eliminated in the proposal—both these programs provide critical support in the afterschool space.
- $2.3 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant under the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which is a $25 million increase from last year’s level.
- $712 million for the Community Services Block Grant (HHS), which is level funded from last year and $332 million above the president’s budget request.
- $15 billion for the Title I Program at the Department of Education for basic grants to local school districts that help all children become proficient in reading and math. This is level funded at last year’s level.
- $60 million for Promise Neighborhoods, level funded from last year.
- $271 million for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support the National Senior Volunteer Programs. This represents a cut of about $800 million to CNCS resulting in the elimination of the AmeriCorps and VISTA programs.
The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies. The bill covers fiscal year 2013, which starts on Oct. 1. The Senate Appropriations Committee has already passed a similar measure. In total, the draft bill includes $150 billion in discretionary funding, which is a cut of $6.3 billion below last year’s level and $8.8 billion below the president’s FY13 budget request. This funding level is more than $2 billion below the amount provided in fiscal year 2009. The House Appropriations Committee is expected to mark up the final bill next Wednesday, July 25. Many amendments on a range of topics are expected.
The future of the fiscal year 2013 appropriations process remains murky. The Senate has indicated they will not bring any spending bills to the floor before the end of the fiscal year on September 30. Most in Washington expect Congress to focus on fiscal year 2013 spending in earnest after the election in November.