House Appropriations Committee submits 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services funding bill

Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee released the draft of the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill for Fiscal Year 2016. The legislation, which is now being considered in the LHHS Subcommittee, will outline funding for numerous programs within the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education and other related agencies.

“This is a fiscally responsible bill that reduces discretionary spending by nearly $4 billion,” Tom Cole, chairman of the LHHS Subcommittee, said. “At the same time, by carefully reprioritizing where taxpayer dollars are spent, the bill increases funding for important programs that benefit the American people. Specifically, funding is targeted to the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control, special education, Head Start and a number of programs aimed at helping Native American youth.”

The bill also includes several policy provisions that allow it to work towards limiting the excessive overreach of the Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board.

“This bill reflects the values and priorities of the American taxpayer, setting us on a path that will reduce the deficit while funding programs that make meaningful differences in the lives of Americans,” Cole said.

The current draft bill allocates $153 billion in discretionary funding, which is a $3.7 billion reduction from the fiscal year 2015 level and $14.6 billion below the President Obama’s requested budget. Specifically, funding is targeted to proven programs which will give the most beneficial return, including medical research, public health, and biodefense, as well as activities to make Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid services more efficient and more accountable.

While funneling money to significant areas that make a positive impact, the bill mandates a reduction in funding for lower impact programs, as well as outright cuts to ineffective or wasteful programs and agencies.

“This legislation continues our efforts to reduce wasteful spending, to stop harmful and unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and impede economic growth and to make wise investments in proven programs on behalf of the American taxpayer,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers said. “This bill fulfills these goals, funding cutting-edge medical research, education for disabled children, veterans’ programs, community health centers, Meals on Wheels and charter schools. At the same time, the bill reflects careful consideration of every program, cutting the fat and making the most of every dollar.”