BILL SUMMARY: Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Fiscal Year 2024 Appropriations Bill
Strengthens investments in students and families, commits new resources to address the opioid and mental health crises, sustains key health care resources, propels lifesaving biomedical research, and protects workers’ rights
Washington, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2024 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill provides $224.4 billion in total funding.
“Our bipartisan legislation improves the lives of working families, and I am proud to have delivered for the American people. This legislation will help communities across the country handle some of their toughest challenges, from fighting the scourge of fentanyl and combatting our mental health crisis to ensuring workers can get the skills they need to land a good-paying job,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies. “While parents across the country face the skyrocketing cost of child care, we came together to expand access to quality, affordable child care and early childhood education so kids get a strong start and parents can get back into the workforce. As we continue to work in a bipartisan manner towards signing the bill into law, I am going to be fighting to protect these investments because that is what Wisconsin working families need and deserve.”
“At root, this bill is about making sure kids and families across the country have the support they need to be able to thrive—and that’s why I am so glad that despite the challenging circumstances, we were able to sustain and build on absolutely critical investments in everything from health care and education to supporting workers and retirees,” said Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This bill will help more families get the child care they need with another much-needed boost in child care funding, will make Pell Grants go farther for students, and will strengthen our investments in K-12 schools across the country. It will also deliver additional resources to address the growing opioid and mental health crises and to bolster medical breakthroughs that will give people more time with their loved ones. And I am really glad we were able to sustain critical funding to support workers and retirees, protect their rights, and put money back in their pockets—where it belongs.”
Key Points & Highlights – Department of Labor
Department of Labor: The bill includes $13.5 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Labor.
Workforce Development: The bill includes $2.9 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act formula grants, protecting essential investments made in recent years. It provides $290 million for Registered Apprenticeships—an increase of $5 million over fiscal year 2023—and it sustains funding for a range of other programs like the Youth Build, Reentry Employment Opportunities, and Job Corps. Maintaining these key investments in workforce development programs will help leverage investments made in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and CHIPS and Science Act to continue to grow the economy, provide workers the skills they need to secure good-paying jobs of the future, and help American businesses compete globally.
Worker Protection Agencies: The bill protects investments in the Department of Labor’s worker protection agencies and provides targeted increases of $4.5 million each for the Wage and Hour Division and Office of the Solicitor. The bill also protects enforcement resources for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
Key Points & Highlights – Department of Health and Human Services
Department of Health and Human Services: The bill provides $117.0 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Health and Human Services.
Child Care and Early Learning Programs: The bill provides a $1 billion increase for early learning programs over fiscal year 2023. It provides $8.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant—a $700 million increase over fiscal year 2023—which will help more families across the country find and afford the child care they need. It also provides $12.3 billion for Head Start, a $275 million increase over fiscal year 2023; $560 million for the Special Education Part C Grants for Infants and Families program, a $20 million increase; and $80 million for the Child Care Access Means Parents in School program, a $5 million increase.
Biomedical Research: The bill provides $47.8 billion—a $943 million increase in discretionary funding over fiscal year 2023—for the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The bill provides targeted increases for critical programs, including a $100 million increase for mental health research, a $100 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research, a $60 million increase for cancer research, a $20 million increase for opioid research, a $12 million for a new palliative care research program, a $10 million increase for diabetes research, and a $10 million increase for the IMPROVE initiative for research on maternal mortality. The bill also includes $1.5 billion for the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H).
Substance Use Prevention and Treatment: The bill builds upon key investments made in fiscal year 2023 to address the rising toll of opioid overdoses fueled by fentanyl and improve access to substance use disorder treatment and prevention. The bill provides over $5 billion for opioid treatment and prevention, a more than $125 million increase over fiscal year 2023. This includes an additional: $40 million for the Substance Use Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery Services Block Grant; $20 million for the State Opioid Response grants; $10 million for the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program; and $20 million for NIH opioid research programs.
Mental Health: The bill provides $35 million more for the Mental Health Block Grant over fiscal year 2023 and includes $172 million for the Behavioral Health Workforce Education and Training Program, a $19 million increase over fiscal year 2023, to expand community-based clinical training and for repayment of education loans for individuals working in either a Mental Health Professional Shortage Area or where the overdose death rate exceeds the national average. Additionally, the bill provides $400 million for Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics, a $15 million increase over fiscal year 2023, and an $18 million increase over fiscal year 2023 for the 988 Suicide Prevention Lifeline, building on the nearly $400 million increase in fiscal year 2023. The bill also includes over $100 million in investments within the Department of Education to address the shortage of school-based mental health professionals in our nation’s K-12 schools.
Protects Essential Health Care Programs: The bill protects essential funding to address public health threats, improve health care access and affordability, and strengthen the health care workforce. This includes: $1.86 billion for Community Health Centers, including $55 million for school-based health centers; $1.4 billion for Health Professions Workforce Development; $1.2 billion for the core Maternal and Child Health programs; $341 million for the Improving Maternal Health Initiative to combat the unacceptable levels of maternal mortality; and $4.1 billion for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid’s administrative needs.
The bill also includes $350 million for Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity, maintaining the 75% increase secured in fiscal year 2023 to bolster public health infrastructure and rebuild the workforce at the state and local level to be ready to respond to emerging public health threats.
The bill includes $616 million for the Ending HIV Epidemic Initiative, a $3 million increase, which provides high-need jurisdictions with prevention and treatment services for people at high risk for HIV transmission. This includes $223 million within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Domestic HIV/AIDS Prevention and Research programs to develop and deploy innovative data management solutions, increase access to PrEP, and better detect and respond to HIV clusters. The bill also protects funding for reproductive health programs such as Title X and the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program.
Pandemic Preparedness and Biodefense: The bill includes $3.67 billion for the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response (ASPR), including a $20 million increase for the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and $75 million to establish a new program in manufacturing and production to ensure that critical resources including medical countermeasures and ancillary supplies are manufactured in the United States. It protects funding for critical programs, including the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), Project Bioshield, and the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS).
Energy Assistance: The bill includes $4.075 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a $75 million increase over fiscal year 2023. LIHEAP provides assistance to low-income households to help heat and cool their homes.
Key Points & Highlights – Department of Education
Department of Education: The bill provides $79.6 billion in discretionary funding for the Department of Education.
Elementary and Secondary Education: The bill provides a $175 million increase for Title I-A grants and a $175 million increase for the primary IDEA Special Education State grant program. These boosts sustain and build on the more than $3.1 billion increase provided over the last two fiscal years for these programs, which are the cornerstone federal investments in our nation’s public elementary and secondary school system. The bill also provides $1.4 billion, a $20 million increase over fiscal year 2023, for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants; $1.6 billion, an increase of $10 million, for Impact Aid; and $897 million, an increase of $7 million over fiscal year 2023, for English Language Acquisition. The bill also includes a combined increase of $35 million to address educator shortages, including an increase of $19.5 million for IDEA Personnel Preparation.
Higher Education: The bill includes a $250 increase in the maximum Pell Grant award, for a total maximum award of $7,645 for the 2024-25 school year. This brings the combined increase in the maximum Pell award over the last three fiscal years to $1,150. Each year, Pell Grants help over 6 million students at all stages of life pursue post-secondary education and further their careers.
The bill also includes important investments in the administration of student aid programs that will support the implementation of more affordable repayment plans and fixes to longstanding issues in student loan forgiveness programs, as well as support borrowers as they enter repayment this fall. The bill includes $85 million, an increase of $15 million over fiscal year 2023, for the Teacher Quality Partnership program, and $15 million for the Hawkins Centers of Excellence to address educator shortages, particularly in the highest-need school districts. The bill maintains investments in a range of other programs including TRIO, GEAR UP, and Postsecondary Student Success Grants to help students prepare for a post-secondary education and succeed once they are there.
Key Points & Highlights – Related Agencies
Social Security Administration (SSA): The bill includes $14.4 billion for SSA’s administrative expenses, an increase of $292 million over fiscal year 2023. This funding will help SSA keep up with rising costs to address service delivery challenges. But tight spending caps significantly limit the ability to provide SSA the funding it needs to provide the service that Americans who have paid into Social Security deserve. Addressing backlogs in key workloads and wait times will require sustained increases to allow SSA to increase staffing and make needed IT improvements.
Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS): The bill protects all programmatic funding for CNCS, including funding for AmeriCorps, and it includes a new provision to increase flexibility for how the agency determines terms of service positions.
Corporation for Public Broadcasting: The bill protects funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. This includes a critical investment of $60 million for digital interconnection and $535 million as a two-year advance appropriation, of which roughly 70% is provided directly to local public TV and radio stations.
Institute of Museum and Library Services: The bill provides $290 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
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