FY17 LHHS Full Committee Markup Bill Summary




Full Committee Mark:  June 9, 2016


Washington, D.C. – The fiscal year 2017 Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill provides a total of $163.8 billion.  This figure includes $161.9 billion in discretionary funding as well as $1.96 billion in cap adjustment funding, a $437 million increase, to prevent waste, fraud, abuse and improper payments in the Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security programs.


U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ranking Member of the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee, said:


“This is a bipartisan bill in a Republican majority, but I am very glad that Senator Blunt and I were able to work together under very tight budget caps to protect and expand critical investments in students, workers, women, families, and the economy. I am especially proud that this bill doesn't include a single new damaging policy rider. This isn’t the last step in this process, and  I am hopeful that Democrats and Republicans can work together to build on our bipartisan budget deal and restore additional investments in defense and non-defense priorities, which would allow us to improve this bill with additional resources for education and other priorities. But this bill is a good first step and a strong floor for continued bipartisan work.”


U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), Vice Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, issued the following statement:


“Thank you Chairman Blunt and Ranking Member Murray for your excellent work leading this Subcommittee.  Your cooperation with each other and the members of the Subcommittee has resulted in a strong bipartisan bill – the first bipartisan Labor-HHS bill in seven years, and the ninth bipartisan bill the Committee will report this year.  From the National Institutes of Health (NIH) curing diseases and finding new treatments, to the Social Security Administration making sure Americans get the benefits they earned, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services stopping health care fraud and waste, the bill meets compelling human needs, invests in discovery and protects vulnerable populations.  So I appreciate the tremendous efforts of Chairman Blunt, Ranking Member Murray and both of your staffs, not letting hard funding choices or contentious riders get in the way of progress.  I am so pleased that the bill re-establishes year-round Pell grants for roughly one million students.  I hear support for year-round Pell in every corner of my state – from Johns Hopkins to community colleges in Western Maryland and on the Eastern Shore.  I’ve heard from school administrators, presidents and students that flexibility with Pell grants can make or break it for students.”


Key Points & Highlights


The bill recommends increases for several programs that enjoy strong bipartisan support, including significant investments in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), as well as mental health and prevention of prescription drug abuse.  The bill also prioritizes investments that will help make college more affordable and put students on the path to higher education and careers, including restoring year-round Pell Grants.




  • Apprenticeship Grants.  The bill includes $100 million to support the ApprenticeshipUSA Initiative, an increase of $10 million from fiscal year 2016.  This funding will expand innovative, job-driven approaches that expand apprenticeship programs to train workers with the 21st century skills that meet employer and industry workforce needs.  The bill directs the Department of Labor to generate and respond to new employer demand for apprenticeship programs and to recruit and serve under-represented populations, with a particular emphasis on increasing the representation of women in apprenticeships.


  • Job Corps.  The bill includes $1.71 billion for Job Corps, $21 million more than fiscal year 2016.  The increase will be dedicated to upgrading safety and security of Job Corps centers, including improved training to detect security risks, increased security personnel staffing, additional mental health counseling, integrated behavior management approaches and related activities to improve the safety environment at Job Corps centers. 


  • Veterans Employment and Training Services.  The bill includes $275 million for veterans training programs, an increase of $3.4 million to support the Homeless Veteran’s Reintegration Program.  This program helps thousands of homeless veterans attain the skills they need to gain meaningful employment.  The program is employment focused, and veterans receive the services they need to re-enter the labor force, including job training and placement, career counseling, resume preparation and other supportive services.


  • Wage and Hour Division (WHD).  The bill maintains funding of $227.5 million for the Wage and Hour division.  Wage and Hour enforces important federal labor laws, including those covering the minimum wage and overtime for 135 million workers nationwide.  A focus is ensuring a fair day’s pay for a fair days work by investigating employer violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and collecting back pay owed to workers.  Last year, WHD recovered almost $250 million for more than 240,000 workers. 


  • Bureau of International Labor Affairs (ILAB).  The bill includes an additional $5 million—$91 million in total—to ensure that our trading partners around the world are respecting workers’ rights.  These funds will enable ILAB to increase its monitoring and enforcement of labor provisions in the nation’s trade agreements, support additional grant assistance to address worker rights issues and combat exploitative child labor. 




  • National Institutes of Health (NIH).  The bill provides $34.1 billion for NIH, an increase of $2 billion from last year’s level.  The increase includes an additional $100 million for the new Precision Medicine Initiative million-person cohort program, as well as an additional $400 million for Alzheimer’s disease research.  It also includes increases of $100 million for the BRAIN Initiative and $50 million for research to combat antimicrobial resistance.  Every NIH Institute and Center receives increased funding to support investments that advance science and speed the development of new therapies, diagnostics and preventive measures, improving the health of all Americans.


  • The Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The bill does not include new language restricting HHS’ authority to administer or enforce the ACA.  The bill provides the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) with funding and program authorities that are consistent with those in fiscal year 2016, thereby protecting its ability to administer Medicare, Medicaid and the ACA. 


  • Community Health Centers (CHCs).  The bill includes $1.5 billion for CHCs, protecting funding for one of the largest safety net systems of primary and preventive care in the country.  Combined with the mandatory funding provided in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the program level for CHCs is $5.1 billion, $150 million more than President’s request and equal to the fiscal year 2016 level.  The bill directs no less than $100 million be used to expand mental health services and services to prevent and treat opioid abuse in hundreds of underserved areas around the nation.


  • Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME).   The bill includes $300 million for CHGME, $300 million more than the President’s request and $5 million more than fiscal year 2016.  This funding supports freestanding children’s hospitals’ training of resident physicians, research capabilities and care for vulnerable and underserved children.


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  The bill provides $7.1 billion to CDC, which is $76 million more than the President’s request.  Within the total, the bill provides $98 million, $28 million more than the request, for preventing prescription drug overdoses.  These funds would allow for broad dissemination of CDC’s opioid prescribing guidelines, as well as improving State Prescription Drug Monitoring programs.  The bill rejects proposed reductions to immunization grants and cancer screenings, while at the same time providing the President’s request of $174 million, $5 million more than last year, for polio eradication and $163 million, $3 million more than last year, for combating antibiotic resistant bacteria.   


  • Family Planning Clinics. The bill includes $286.5 million for the Title X program, protecting critical funding for comprehensive family planning and preventive health services to nearly 5 million people.  This is level with fiscal year 2016.


  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  The bill provides $3.7 billion for SAMHSA, which is $8 million more than the President’s request.  Included in the total is an additional $30 million – an increase of six percent – for the Mental Health Block Grant.  The bill includes $60 million for grants for states to expand access to drug treatment services for those with a dependence on prescription opioids or heroin.  This is $35 million more than fiscal year 2016.  The bill also includes $26 million, $14 million more than fiscal year 2016, to prevent opioid overdoses.  These funds will be used to help states purchase emergency devices that rapidly reverse the adverse effects of opioid overdoses, train first responders on how to use the emergency devices and increase public awareness of the dangers of opioid use.


  • Enhancing Care for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The bill includes a new provision that requires CMS to cover patient-centered comprehensive Alzheimer’s disease care planning services.




  • Supporting Elementary and Secondary Education.  The bill supports the implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that passed last year.  The bill includes:


    • $15.4 billion, $50 million more than last year and the President’s request, for Title I grants to local educational agencies (LEAs).  This amount includes $450 million in funding for school improvement that is now consolidated within the Title I grants program.  The Title I program assists half of the nation’s schools in their efforts to raise student achievement for the almost 24 million students served in such programs.  These programs provide extra academic support to help students, particularly those in high-poverty schools, meet college- and career-ready state academic standards, including through preschool programs for eligible children;


    • $1.3 billion, $10 million more than both last year and the President’s request, for all currently funded programs of Impact Aid, which provides assistance to more than 1,000 school districts for lost revenue or increased costs resulting from federal activities, such as a military presence;


    • $300 million for the Student Support and Academic Enrichment formula block grant program, which is $22 million more than the total amount provided in fiscal year 2016 for the individual programs that have been consolidated to create this new program.  Now combined, these programs provide flexible resources that states, LEAs and schools can decide how to best use to improve student outcomes; and


    • $11.95 billion, a $40 million increase, for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B formula grants that provide resources to states and school districts designed to help meet the excess costs of providing special education and related services to more than 6 million children with disabilities.


  • Pell Grants.  The bill maintains $22.5 billion in discretionary spending for Pell Grants in fiscal year 2017 and authorizes year-round or summer Pell grants, benefiting roughly one million students.  This expansion will provide them up to 150 percent of their current Pell award, which could amount on average to an additional $1,650 Pell award.  In addition, mandatory funding will enable the maximum Pell Grant to increase by an estimated $120 in fiscal year 2017 to $5,935 for roughly eight million Pell recipients.  When considering all of the changes made to the Pell program in this bill, the bill preserves enough of the estimated $7.8 billion surplus of funds previously appropriated for Pell to keep the program in surplus through the remainder of the decade. 


  • Homeless student education.  Support for homeless students under the McKinney-Vento Act receives $77 million, $7 million more than last year.  These funds support grants for services to homeless children, helping them enroll and succeed in school.  The homeless student population has increased 45 percent since 2008. 


  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR).  The bill provides $110 million, an increase of $3 million, for the Department of Education’s OCR.  If enacted, this would represent an increase of $10 million over a two year period. The number of complaints pending more than 180 days at OCR has risen from 315 at the end of fiscal year 2009 to 1,311 at the end of fiscal year 2015.  Many of these are cases of campus sexual assault and school discipline issues.




  • National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  The bill maintains the current funding level of $274 million for the NLRB, which is charged with protecting employee and employer rights by enforcing the National Labor Relations Act.  The bill is free of language that might restrict or interfere with the Board’s activities.


  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).  The bill provides $445 million, the same as the current level for CPB, to support a healthy and vibrant network of public media stations across the country.  The federal appropriation supports more than 1,400 locally owned and operated public television and radio stations that serve almost 99 percent of the American population living in rural and urban communities across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.  In addition, the bill provides $50 million, an increase of $10 million, to continue federal support for the costs associated with replacing CPB’s interconnection system. 


  • Social Security Administration (SSA).  The bill increases SSA’s administrative budget by $320 million, providing a total of $12.5 billion for the agency.  SSA affects the lives of 50 million Americans currently receiving retirement and survivor benefits, as well as the millions more who become eligible each year and those applying for and receiving disability benefits.  Additional funding is targeted to activities that will increase the integrity of SSA’s programs, including preventing and detecting fraud and conducting reviews of continued eligibility for benefits. 



Press Contact

Mara Stark-Alcalá w/Appropriations:             (202) 224-2667                                  

Murray Press Office: Eli Zupnick                 (202) 224-2621