Senate Democrats

S. 1710, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008

Summary and Background

On June 27, 2007, the Senate Committee on Appropriations favorably reported S.1710, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008 (L-HHS-Ed). L-HHS-Ed would provide a total of $605.54 billion for three major federal departments and numerous related agencies, most of which is for mandatory programs.  Of this amount, $152.1 billion would be for discretionary funding, including offsets, which is $10.8 billion above President Bush’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

In funding more than 300 important programs, this bill would benefit every American citizen – across generations and socio-economic divides, reflecting our nation’s belief that “every citizen deserves the right to a basic education and job skills training; protection from illness and want; and an equal opportunity to reach one’s highest potential.”  (Appropriations Committee report, Summary)

The Senate brought the House-passed version of this bill, H.R.3043, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 2008, to the floor on October 17. A substitute amendment will be offered to replace the text of the House billwith that of S.1710

Major Provisions

Title I: Department of Labor

S.1710 would provide $14.89 billion for the Department of Labor (DOL), including funding for job training and worker protection programs.  This amount is $209.09 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $958.09 million above the President’S.2008 budget request.  The bill would provide $11.9 billion in discretionary funds, which is $1.3 billion above the President’s budget request. 

Employment and Training Administration 

S.1710 would provide $8.97 billion for this agency, which is $86.05 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $765.93 million above the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.

Training and Employment Services. S.1710 would provide $3.59 billion for this account, which provides funding primarily for the Workforce Investment Act.  WIA, the nation’s primary job training legislation, is aimed at enhancing employment and training services at the local level for economically disadvantaged and dislocated workers.  The amount allocated for this account would be $30.87 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $615.1 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  The Committee rejected the proposed $335 million cancellation of unexpended balances proposed by the President. 

S.1710 would provide funding in this account for:

  • Adult Employment and Training.  This grant program is formula-funded to states and further distributed to local workforce investment boards.  Services for adults are provided through the One-Stop system and most customers receiving training use individual training accounts to determine which programs and providers best fit their needs.  WIA primarily authorizes core services, which are available to all adults with no eligibility requirements, and, secondarily, intensive services for unemployed individuals who are not able to find jobs through core services alone.  S.1710 would provide $864.2 million for these activities, which is equal to the 2007 comparable level and $152.2 million above the 2008 budget request. 
  • Youth Training.  This grant program provides eligible youth with assistance in achieving academic and employment success through improving educational and skill competencies and providing connections to employers.  Other activities of this program include mentoring opportunities, opportunities for training, supportive services, summer employment opportunities that are directly linked to academic and occupational learning, and community service.  S.1710 would provide $940.5 million for this program, which is equal to the 2007 comparable level and $100 million above the 2008 budget request. 
  • Dislocated Worker Assistance.  This grant program is a state-operated effort which provides core services, intensive services, training, and supportive services to help permanently separated workers return to productive, unsubsidized employment.  In addition, states use these funds for rapid response assistance to dislocated workers who have lost their jobs due to mass layoffs, military base closures, and natural disasters.  S.1710 would fund this program at $1.19 billion, which is equal to the 2007 comparable level and $286.87 million above the 2008 budget request.
  • Dislocated Worker Assistance National Reserve.  This program is federally administered by the Secretary of Labor for the purposes of responding to unanticipated mass layoffs, plant and/or base closings, and natural disasters.  The Secretary can also use the reserve for technical assistance and training and demonstration projects, including a community college initiative.  S.1710 would provide $282.09 million for this program, which is equal to the 2007 comparable level and $70.09 million above the 2008 budget request. 

Included in this account is $125 million for the Community-Based Job Training Initiative, which is equal to this year’s level and $25 million below the requested level.  This competitive grant program is designed to strengthen partnerships between workforce investment boards, community colleges, and employers for the purpose of training workers for high growth, high demand industries in the new economy. 

  • Native American Programs.  These programs are designed to improve the economic well-being of Native Americans through the provision of training, work experience, and other employment-related services and opportunities intended to help participants find permanent, unsubsidized jobs.  S.1710 would provide $53.70 million for these programs, which is equal to the 2007 comparable level and $8.70 million above the 2008 budget request. 
  • Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker Programs.  This program is designed to serve members of economically disadvantaged families whose livelihood is derived from seasonal farmwork.  Enrollees and their families are provided with employment training and related services intended to prepare them for stable, year-round employment within and outside of the agriculture industry.  S.1710 would provide $79.75 million for this program (including $4.95 million for housing grants), which is equal to the 2007 comparable level.  The Committee rejected the President’s request that funding for this program be eliminated. 
  • Women in Apprenticeship.  S.1710 would provide $1 million for this program, which is authorized by the Women in Apprenticeship and Non-Traditional Occupations Act of 1992 to provide for technical assistance to employers and unions to train, place and retrain women in nontraditional jobs and occupations.  This amount is equal to the 2007 comparable level.  The Committee rejected the President’s request that funding for this program be eliminated. 
  • YouthBuild.  This program provides the opportunity for eligible youth to learn construction trade skills by building or rehabilitating housing for low-income individuals, earn a high school diploma or equivalent, and prepare for postsecondary training.  Personal counseling and training in life skills and financial management are also provided to participants.  S.1710 would provide $65 million for this program, which is $15 million above the 2007 comparable level and $15.5 million above the 2008 budget request. 
  • Job Corps.  The Appropriations Committee would reject the President’s request to return this program to the Employment and Training Administration and would continue to fund Job Corps as an independent entity.
  • National Activities.  This account would include $111.1 million for the following programs: Pilots, Demonstrations, and Research; Responsible Reintegration of Youth Offender; Prisoner Re-entry; Reintegration of Ex-offenders; evaluation, and the Denali Commission.  The Community-Based Job Training Initiative is included in the Dislocated Worker National Reserve.  This amount is $15.37 million above the 2007 comparable level and $98.51 million below the 2008 budget request for these activities. 

 

Community Service Employment for Older Americans. This program provides part-time employment in community service activities for unemployed, low-income persons aged 55 and over.  S.1710 would provide $483.61 million for this account, which is equal to the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $133.61 above the 2008 budget request. 

Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances.  S.1710 would provide $888.7 million for this account, which is $51.1 million above the 2007 comparable level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

State Unemployment Insurance and Employment Service Operations.  The funds in this account are used to provide administrative grants and assistance to state agencies which administer federal and state unemployment compensation laws and public employment service.  S.1710 would provide $2.56 billion for unemployment insurance services (which is $53.33 million above the 2007 level and equal the 2008 budget request) and $749.88 million for employment services (which is $572,000 above the 2007 level and $28.24 million above the 2008 budget request). 

This account would also include $55.99 million for One-Stop Career Centers and the Labor Market Information System, which is $7.84 million below the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and equal to the 2008 budget request.  The account would further include $19.54 million for the Work Incentives Grant program to help disabled persons find and retain jobs through the One-Stop Career Center system.  This amount is $27,000 above the 2007 level and $19.54 million above the 2008 budget request. 

Unemployment Trust Fund Advance.  This fund provides benefits and income supports to those who are temporarily out of work. The fund also advances funds for specialized federal unemployment programs.  S.1710 would provide a $437 million advance to the fund, which is $28 million below the 2007 level and equal to the 2008 budget request.

Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA)

EBSA protects the pension, health care and other benefits of millions of Americans by enforcing the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and Federal Employees’ Retirement Security Act (FERSA) laws.  S.1710 would provide $143.26 million for EBSA, which is $1.69 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $4.16 million below than the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC). Included in the EBSA account is funding for PBGC, whichis a government-owned corporation that guarantees the payment of pension plan benefits to participants if their covered, defined plan fails or is extinguished.  Most of the corporation’s funds come from insurance premiums collected from covered pension plans, assets of terminated pension plans, collection of employer liabilities imposed by ERISA, and investment earnings.  S.1710 would provide $411.15 million for PBGC’s administrative expenses, which is $5.76 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level and equal to the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.

Employment Standards Administration

S.1710 would provide $2.08 billion for this agency, which is $17.6 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $9.15 million below the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.

Special Benefits. This program provides benefits under the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA).  Amongst other things, the Appropriations Committee would continue to permit FECA funds to be used to reimburse a new employer for a portion of the salary of a newly reemployed injured federal worker during the first three years of employment.  S.1710 would provide $203 million for this program, which is $24 million below the 2007 comparable level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

Special Benefits for Disable Coal Miners. This program provides monthly benefits to coal miners disabled by black lung disease and to their widows and dependants.  S.1710 would provide $208.22 million for this program, which is $21.15 below the 2007 level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB). In collaboration with other agencies, the ILAB promulgates American foreign labor policies and provides the research and technical assistance necessary to enforce them, particularly with respect to child labor exploitation.  S.1710 would provide $85.2 million for the ILAB, which is $10 million above the 2007 level and $68.4 million above the 2008 budget request.

Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program. This program delivers benefits to certain employees and former employees (and their survivors) of the Department of Energy, as provided under the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act and the Radiation Exposure Compensation ActS.1710 would provide $104.74 million for this program, which is $2.44 million above the 2007 level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

Black Lung Disability Trust Fund. This fund pays all black lung compensation/medical and survivor benefit expenses when no responsible mine operation can be assigned liability or when coal mine employment ceased prior to 1970.  S.1710 would provide $1.07 billion for this account, which is $1.55 million below the 2007 comparable level and equal to the President’S..2008 budget request. 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

OSHA promulgates and enforces occupational and safety regulations through site inspections, employer and employee training, and matching grants to states. The Committee is concerned with OSHA’s standard setting and enforcement capabilities due to declining budgets and poor policy decisions.  To this end, S.1710 would fund OSHA at $498.45 million, which is $11.52 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $8.17 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA)

This agency ensures the health and safety of miners by conducting inspections and special investigations of mine operations, promulgating mandatory safety and health standards, co-operating with states in developing effective state programs, and improving training in conjunction with states and the mining industry.  S.1710 would provide $330.03 million for MSHA, $28.46 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $16.55 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

BLS collects data and statistics on workers and the economy for the federal government.  S.1710 would provide $560 million for BLS, which is $11.88 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $14.44 million below the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

ODEP seeks to increase the training and employment of youth and adults with disabilities.  S.1710 would provide $27.71 million for this account, which is equal to the 2007 level and $9.11 million above the 2008 budget request.

Departmental Management

This office is the general management arm for the DOL.  The office of Departmental Management also oversees a number of specialized programs such as the Women’s Bureau and the Office of Civil Rights.  S.1710 would provide $313.72 million for this account, which is $14.8 million above the 2007 comparable level and $59.48 million above the 2008 budget request. 

Office of Job Corps

Job Corps is a nationwide network of residential facilities which provides a comprehensive and intensive array of training, job placement and support services to at-risk young adults.  The mission of Job Corps is to attract eligible young adults, teach them the skills they need to become employable and independent, and place them in meaningful jobs or further education.  S.1710 would provide $1.66 billion for this account, which is $81.6 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $137.5 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Veterans Employment and Training

This program would assist veterans in their transition back to civilian life by providing them training and placement assistance.  The Committee also recommends that the Transition Assistance Program, funded in this account, include an effort to prevent homelessness amongst veterans.  S.1710 would provide $228.2 million for this account, which is $5 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $102,000 above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Office of the Inspector General

S.1710 would provide $79.66 million for this account, which is $6.89 million above the 2007 enacted level and $1 million above the 2008 budget request. 

Title II: Department of Health and Human Services

 

S.1710 would provide $68.1 billion in discretionary appropriations for Health and Human Services (HHS) Department programs.  This amount is $5 billion more than last year’s level, and $5.4 billion more than the Bush Administration’s budget request.

Health Resources and Services Administration

The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supports programs that provide health services to disadvantaged minorities, the medically underserved, mothers and infants, the elderly, and the homeless.  HRSA also supports programs in community health, health professions training, and health care delivery systems and facilities.  S.1710 would provide $6.87 billion for health resources and services programs.  This amount is $457 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $1.05 billion above the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Community Health Centers. The Community Health Centers program includes include community health centers, migrant health centers, and health care centers for the homeless.  These organizations provide primary health care and social services for those without other access to care.  Some of these organizations also provide public housing health service grants.  S.1710 would provide $2.24 billion for the Community Health Centers program.  This is $250 million above the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request and the Fiscal Year 2007 level.

National Health Service Corps (NHSC).  The NHSC program provides scholarships and loan repayment to health professionals in return for a period of service in areas that have a shortage of health professionals.  S.1710 would provide $40.44 million for NHSC field placement activities, which is the same level of funding as in Fiscal Year 2007 and $9.71 million more than the Administration’s request.  S.1710 would also provide $85.23 million for NHSC recruitment activities, which is the same level of funding as in Fiscal Year 2007 and the Administration’s request.

Health Professions. The health professions and nursing education programs supported by HRSA provide support to students, programs, departments, and institutions to improve the accessibility, quality, and racial and ethnic diversity of the health care workforce.  S.1710 would provide $357.43 million for all HRSA health professions programs including education and training.  This is $23 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $242.39 million more than the Administration’s request.  To address the serious national nursing shortage, $169.68 million of this amount is targeted to Nursing Workforce Development Programs, $20 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level. 

Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant. The MCH Block Grant provides funds to states to support health care for mothers and children, including programs for prenatal care, reducing infant mortality, well child care, and immunizations.  S.1710 would provide $673 million for the MCH Block Grant, which is the same as the Fiscal Year 2007 level and the Administration’s request.

Autism Initiative.  The Autism and Other Developmental Disorders Initiative supports surveillance, early detection, education and intervention activities on autism and other developmental disorders as authorized in the Combating Autism Act of 2006.  S.1710 would provide $37 million for this initiative, which is $17 million above both the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and the Administration’s request.

Traumatic Brain Injury Program. The Traumatic Brain Injury Program supports implementation and planning grants to states for coordination and improvement of services to individuals with traumatic brain injuries and their families, as well as protection and advocacy.  Since brain injury is a signature injury of service in Iraq, and returning National Guard solders rely on community-based systems of care, S.1710 would provide $10 million for the Traumatic Brain Injury Program.  This amount is $1.09 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.  The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program.

Universal Newborn Hearing Activities.  S.1710 would provide $12 million for universal newborn hearing screening and early intervention activities, $2.2 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.  The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program. 

Ryan White AIDS programs. The Ryan White AIDS programs provide federal funds to metropolitan areas and states to supplement health care costs and services for individuals with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and their families.  S.1710 would provide $2.17 billion for Ryan White AIDS programs.  This amount is $13 million more than the Administration’s request and $33 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Organ Donation and Transplantation.  HRSA supports a registry of organ transplant recipients and the National Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network which matches organ donors with potential recipients.  HRSA also supports education efforts to promote organ donation.  S.1710 would provide $25.05 million for these organ donation and transplantation activities.  This amount is $2 million more than both the Administration’s request and the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Rural Health Programs. S.1710 would provide $172.24 million for HRSA’s rural health programs.  This amount is $4 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $148 million above the Bush Administration’s budget request.

Family Planning. Title X family planning grants to public and private non-profit agencies support family planning services as well as screening for ancillary health problems.  Approximately 85 percent of family planning clients are women at or below 150 percent of the poverty level.  S.1710 would provide $300 million for the Title X family planning program. This amount is $16.9 million more than the Administration’s request, and $16.85 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) focus on several priorities that include:  1) providing core public health functions; 2) responding to urgent health threats; 3) monitoring the country’s health; 4) building the national health infrastructure to ensure security from bioterrorist attacks; 5) promoting women’s health; and 6) implementing nationwide prevention strategies to encourage lifestyles conducive to good health.  S.1710 would provide $6.43 billion for the CDC.  This amount is $444 million more than the Administration’s request, and $224 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.   This funding does not include funding for the influenza pandemic, which is appropriated in the HHS Office of the Secretary.

Infectious Disease Control. The CDC activities related to the prevention and control of infectious diseases include the following:  national surveillance of infectious diseases; prevention and control strategies; working with state and local departments and health care providers; and strengthening the capacity to respond to outbreaks.  S.1710 would provide $1.77 billion for infectious disease control. This amount is $19 million less than the Administration’s request, and $29 million below the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention. S.1710 would provide $1.02 billion for the CDC’s efforts in preventing and controlling HIV, Viral Hepatitis, STDs, and TB.  This figure is $36 million less than the Administration’s request, and $10 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Immunization. S.1710 would provide $457.52 million for the immunization program authorized under Section 317 of the Public Health Service Act.  This amount is $32.4 million more than the Administration’s request, and the same as the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.  Section 317 grants play a critical role in improving immunization rates in children and adults. 

Health Promotion.  The Coordinating Center for Health Promotion includes the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the National Center for Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities.  Recognizing the important role that these centers play, S.1710 would provide $979.88 million for health promotion-related activities at the CDC.  This amount is $20 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $21 million above the Administration’s request.

Autism. Acknowledging the importance of the work by the CDC in the area of autism surveillance and research, S.1710 would provide $16.5 million to support the CDC’s efforts in this area. This amount is $1.4 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Environmental Health and Injury Prevention. S.1710 would provide $296.34 million for environmental health and injury prevention related activities at the CDC.  This figure is $8.2 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $8.7 million more than the Administration’s request.

Occupational Safety and Health. The CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) is the agency responsible for researching and recommending ways to prevent work-related injury and illness.  S.1710 would provide $272.4 million for occupational safety and health programs.  This figure is $19 million more than the Administration’s request, and $18 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Terrorism Preparedness. S.1710 would provide $1.63 billion for CDC terrorism preparedness activities.  This amount is $91 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $128 million more than the Bush Administration’s budget request.

Public Health Improvement and Leadership. S.1710 would provide $209.83 for public health improvement and leadership activities at the CDC.  This figure is $20 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level, and $19 million more than the Administration’s request.

Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.  The Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant provides states with funds for services to reduce preventable morbidity and mortality to improve the quality of life.  The block grant is the primary source of funding to states for health education and risk reduction activities and for cholesterol, hypertension, and cancer screening.  S.1710 would provide $99 million for the Preventive Health and Health Services Block Grant.  This amount is the same the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.   The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program.

National Institutes of Health

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is the primary federal agency for conducting and supporting medical research.  Composed of 27 Institutes and Centers, the NIH provides leadership and financial support to researchers in every state and throughout the world.

The NIH has more than 18,000 employees on the main campus and at satellite sites across the country.

With the support of the American people, the NIH annually invests over $28 billion in medical research.  More than 83 percent of the NIH’s funding is awarded through almost 50,000 competitive grants to more than 325,000 researchers at over 3,000 universities, medical schools, and other research institutions in every state and around the world. About 10 percent of the NIH’s budget supports projects conducted by nearly 6,000 scientists in its own laboratories, most of which are on the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland.

Yet despite the prominence and importance of the NIH, it is currently faced with a funding squeeze.  After four years of stagnant budgets, the NIH’s funding has dropped by 8.3 percent in real terms.  The overall success rate for research project grants stands at just 21 percent.  A lack of sufficient funding threatens the pace of biomedical research and, if not remedied, could even delay cures and treatments that are within reach. 

That is why S.1710 would provide almost $29.9 billion in funding for the NIH, $1 billion above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and almost $1.3 billion more than the Bush Administration’s Fiscal Year 2008 Budget request.  Regrettably, the Bush Administration called for cutting NIH funding by $279 million. 

S.1710 would provide funding for NIH institutes and centers, including:

  • $4.91 billion for the National Cancer Institute, which is $128 million more than the Administration’s request, and $113 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation;
  • $2.99 billion for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, which is $67 million more than the Administration’s request, and $69 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation;
  • $1.75 billion for the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, which is $40 million more than the Administration’s request, and $42 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation;
  • $1.57 billion for the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, which is $36 million more than the Administration’s request, and $38 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation;
  • $4.37 billion for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is $76 million more than the Administration’s request, and $100 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation;
  • $1.07 billion for the National Institute on Aging, which is $26 million more than the Administration’s request and the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation; and
  • $1.44 billion for the National Institute of Mental Health, which is $31 million more than the Administration’s request, and $32 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

SAMHSA supports mental health programs and alcohol and other drug abuse prevention and treatment services throughout the country, primarily through categorical and block grants to states.  S.1710 would provide $3.4 billion for SAMHSA, which is $78 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $237 million more than the Administration’s request.

Center for Mental Health Services. The Center for Mental Health Services funds programs of regional and national significance, the mental health performance and partnership block grant to the states, children’s mental health services, projects for assistance in transition from homelessness, and protection and advocacy services for individuals with mental health illnesses.  S.1710 would provide $923.81 million for the Center for Mental Health Services, an increase of $40 million from the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $117 million more than the Administration’s request.

Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) funds substance abuse treatment, development and application demonstrations, targeted capacity expansion programs, and the substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant to the states.  S.1710 would provide $2.19 billion for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.  This amount includes $1.76 billion for the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant.  For CSAT in total, S.1710 would provide $28 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $54 million more than the Administration’s request.

Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.  The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention funds substance abuse prevention programs, high-risk youth projects, development and application demonstrations, and targeted capacity expansion programs.  S.1710 would provide $197.11 million for the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention.  This amount is $4 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $41 million more than the Administration’s request.

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s goals include the following:  1) promoting improvements in clinical practice and patient outcomes; 2) promoting improvements in the financing, organization, and delivery of health care; and 3) increasing access to quality care.  The agency provides policymakers and health professionals information to improve the cost-effectiveness and appropriateness of health care.  S.1710 would provide $329.56 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  This amount is equal to the Administration’s request, and $11 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.

Administration for Children and Families

Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  LIHEAP grants are awarded to states, territories, Indian tribes, and tribal organizations to assist low-income households in meeting the costs of home energy.  States receive flexibility in how they provide assistance, including direct payments to individuals and vendors and direct provision of fuel.  S.1710 would provide $2.16 billion in state grants for heating and cooling assistance for low-income individuals and families, the same as last year’s funding and $379 million more than the Administration’s request.

Refugee and Entrant Assistance.  The Refugee and Entrant Assistance Program is designed to assist states in their efforts to assimilate refugees asylees, Cuban and Haitian entrants, and adults and minors who are trafficking victims, into American society.  S.1710 would provide $654.17 million for this program.  This amount is $66 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $1 million below the Administration’s request. 

Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG).The CCDBG supports grants to states to provide low-income families with financial assistance for child care; for improving the quality and availability of child care; and for establishing or expanding child development programs.  S.1710 would provide $2.06 billion for the CCDBG, the same amount as last year’s funding level and the Administration’s budget request. 

Social Services Block Grant.  The Social Services Block Grant is a vital source of support for many vulnerable children and families, the elderly, and single adults and continues to support state flexibility.  S.1710 would provide $1.7 billion for the Social Services Block Grant.  This amount is the same as the budget request and the Fiscal Year 2007 enacted level.

Children and Family Services Programs. Appropriations provide funding for programs for children, youth, and families, the developmentally disabled, and Native Americans, as well as federal administrative costs.  S.1710 would provide $9.22 billion for children and family services programs.  This is $275 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level, and approximately $974 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Head Start.  Head Start, a highly-successful federal-to-local grant program established in 1965, provides early childhood education and services, including health, nutrition, and social and behavioral development for low-income preschool children and their families. S.1710 would provide $7.09 billion for Fiscal Year 2008 for Head Start, $200 million more than last year, and $300 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Consolidated Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.  The Consolidated Runaway and Homeless Youth Program addresses the crisis needs of runaway and homeless youth and their families through support to local and state governments and private agencies.  S.1710 would provide $102.84 million in funding for this program, $15 million above the comparable funding level for Fiscal Year 2007 and the Administration’s budget request.

Runaway Youth Prevention Program.  This discretionary grant program is open to private nonprofit agencies for the provision of services to runaway, homeless, and street youth.  S.1710 would provide $20.03 million for this program, $5 million above the comparable funding level for Fiscal Year 2007 and the Administration’s budget request.

Child Abuse Programs.  These programs seek to improve and increase activities at all levels of government that identify, prevent, and treat child abuse and neglect though state grants, technical assistance, research, demonstration, and service improvement. 

S.1710 would provide $107.18 million for child abuse programs, $12 million above the comparable level for Fiscal Year 2006 and $1.6 million above the Administration’s budget request.

 

Compassion Capital Fund (CCF).  The goal of this program is to help faith-based and community organizations maximize their social impact as they provide services to those most in need.  S.1710 would provide $53.63 million for CCF, $11 million below the comparable funding level for fiscal year 2007 and $21 million below the Administration’s budget request.

Developmental Disabilities.  The Administration on Developmental Disabilities supports community-based delivery of services that promote the rights of persons of all ages with developmental disabilities.  S.1710 would provide $190.84 million for programs administered by the Administration on Developmental Disabilities.  This amount is $20 million above the comparable funding level for Fiscal Year 2007 and the Administration’s budget request.

Native American Programs.  The Administration for Native Americans assists Indian tribes and Native American organizations in planning and implementing long-term strategies for social and economic development through funding of grants for individual projects, training and technical assistance, and research and demonstration programs.  S.1710 would provide $49.33 million for Native American programs, $5 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and the Administration’s budget request.

Community Services Block Grant.  The Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) program provides states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, Indian Tribes and tribal organizations, community action agencies, migrant and seasonal farm workers or other organizations designated by the States, funds to alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty in communities.  S.1710 would provide $670.43 million for CSBG, $40 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 Funding Level.  The Bush Administration did not request any funding for CSBG.

 

Abstinence Education. S.1710 would provide $84.92 million for community-based abstinence education programs.  This amount is $28 million below the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $56 million below the Administration’s funding request.  S.1710 would provide sufficient funding to cover current grantee continuation costs, but in light of evidence that these programs, as currently designed, have no effect on the sexual abstinence of youth, the legislation does not contain any new funding.  S.1710 also affirms that information provided under these programs must be scientifically accurate. 

Safe and Stable Families. Funding for the Safe and Stable Families program is used to provide grants to states in support of family preservation services; time-limited family reunification services; community-based family support services; and adoption promotion and support services.  S.1710 would provide $434.1 million for Fiscal Year 2008 for promoting safe and stable families, the same as last year’s funding level, and the Administration’s budget request.

Administration on Aging

S.1710 would provide $1.44 billion for aging programs, $59 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable funding level, and $106 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Supportive Services and Senior Centers.  This state formula grant program funds a wide range of social services for the elderly, including multipurpose senior centers, adult day care and ombudsman activities.  All individuals 60 years-old and over are eligible for services, although, by law, priority is given to serving those who are in the greatest economic and social need, with particular attention to low-income minority older individuals and those residing in rural areas.  S.1710 would provide $350.6 million for supportive services and senior centers, the same as the Fiscal Year 2007 level and the Administration’s budget request.

National Family Caregiver Support Program.  Funds appropriated for this program established a multifaceted support network in each state for family caregivers.  S.1710 would provide $156.17 million for the national family caregiver support program, the same amount as the comparable Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $2 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Nutrition Programs for Seniors. S.1710 would provide $773.57 million for congregate and home-delivered nutrition services, and the nutrition services incentives program.  This amount is $39 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $62 million more than the Administration’s budget request.  These programs address the nutritional need of older individuals.

Office of the Secretary

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.  This office is responsible for promoting the use of electronic health records in clinical practice, coordinating federal health information systems, and collaborating with the private sector to develop standards for a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure.  S.1710 would provide $71 million to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, $10 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level and $47 million below the Administration’s request.

 

Pandemic Influenza Preparedness.  In order to help prepare our nation for the next pandemic, S.1710 would provide $888 million for pandemic influenza preparedness activities.  This amount is $60 million less than the Administration’s budget request.

Title III: Department of Education

S.1710 would provide $60.108 billion for Education Department programs. This amount is an increase of $2.635 billion over Fiscal Year 2007, and $3.88 billion more than the Bush Administration’s budget request. 

Education for the Disadvantaged

 

Title I – Grants to Local School Districts.  Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) provides grants to local educational agencies (LEA’s) for supplemental education funding, especially in high-poverty areas, for local programs that provide extra academic support to help raise the achievement of eligible students or, in the case of school-wide programs, help all students in high-poverty schools to meet challenging state academic standards.  The program serves about 18 million students in nearly all school districts and more than half of all public schools – including two-thirds of the nation’s elementary schools.

Title I funds help students meet challenging state standards through one of two models:  1) "targeted assistance" that supplements the regular education program of individual children deemed most in need of special assistance; 2) a "school-wide" approach that allows schools to use Title I funds in combination with other federal, state, and local funds to improve the overall instructional program for all children in a school.

The largest and most important of the federal education programs, Title I grants to LEAs help the students who need help the most – the millions who are being left behind.  Regrettably, the federal government has fallen short of its commitment on Title I each year, and each year the gap between the authorized an appropriated levels has grown wider, for a cumulative total of $54.7 billion dollars since 2002.  S.1710 would reverse this trend by providing $13.91 billion in funding for Title I, the largest increase for Title I in five years.  This amount is $1.07 billion over the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level, and the same as the Administration’s budget request. 

School Improvement Grants.  The School Improvement Grants program was authorized as part of the No Child Left Behind Act to support a formula grant program to the states that will enable them to provide assistance to schools not making adequate yearly progress for at least two years.  S.1710 would provide $500 million for this program, $375 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and the same as the Administration’s request. 

Reading First State Grants.  Reading First is a comprehensive effort to provide states and LEAs with funds to implement comprehensive reading instruction for children in kindergarten through third grade.  The purpose of the program is to help ensure that every child can read by third grade. S.1710 would provide $800 million for Reading First, $229 million less than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $219 million less than the Administration’s budget request.  This funding cut is in direct response to the Education Department’s egregious mismanagement of the program, as described in six reports by the Inspector General, numerous media accounts and congressional hearings. 

 

Promise Scholarships.  The proposed Promise Scholarships program would provide vouchers to students from low-income families who are enrolled in persistently low-performing schools with scholarships that they can use to pay tuition, fees and other costs to attend private or out-of-district schools, or to purchase supplemental educational services.  Bipartisan majorities in the Congress have rejected this proposal in each of the last few years.  The  Bush Administration requested $250 million for this program, but S.1710 does not provide any funding for this program.

 

Opportunity Scholarships.  The proposed Opportunity Scholarships program would provide competitive grants to enable students from low-income households who attend a school identified for improvement, corrective action or restructuring under the No Child Left Behind Act to attend private or out-of-district schools, or to purchase supplemental educational services.  The Bush Administration requested $50 million for this program, but S.1710 does not fund this program.   

Impact Aid

Impact Aid provides financial assistance to school districts for the costs of educating children when enrollments and the availability of revenues from local sources have been adversely affected by the presence of federal activities.  S.1710 would provide $1.25 billion for Impact Aid.  This amount is $20 million more than both the Administration’s budget request, and the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriated amount.

School Improvement Programs

State Grants for Improving Teacher Quality. S.1710 would provide $2.89 billion for state grants for improving teacher quality.  This amount is the same as the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level, and $100 million more than the Administration’s budget request. 

Mathematics and Science Partnerships. Funds for the Mathematics and Science Partnerships program are used to improve the performance of students in the areas of math and science by bringing math and science teachers in elementary and secondary schools together with scientists, mathematicians, and engineers to increase the teachers’ subject-matter knowledge and improve their teaching skills.  S.1710 would provide $184 million for this program, almost $2 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and the Administration’s budget request.

Educational Technology State Grants.  This program supports efforts to integrate technology into curricula to improve student learning.  S.1710 would provide $272.25 million for this program, the same amount as appropriated last year.  The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program.

21st Century Community Learning Centers.  This program enables communities to establish or expand community learning centers that provide activities offering significant extended learning opportunities, such as before- and after-school programs, recreational activities, drug and violence prevention, and family literacy programs for students and related services to their families.  Centers must target their services toward students who attend schools that are eligible to operate a school-wide program under Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or serve high percentages of students from low-income families.  S.1710 would provide $1 billion for the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program.  This amount is $19 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation and the Administration’s Budget request.

State Assessments and Enhanced Assessment Instruments.  A key accountability measure in the No Child Left Behind Act requires annual state assessments in reading and mathematics for all students in grades three through eight.  The assessments are used to determine whether states, LEAs, and schools are making adequate yearly progress toward the goal of helping all students attain proficiency in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act.  S.1710 would provide $416 million for state assessments, which is $8 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation and $4 million more than the President’s budget request.

 

This program has two components. The first provides formula grants to states to pay the cost of developing standards and assessments required by the No Child Left Behind Act.  The statute includes funding "trigger amounts"; states may defer the new assessments if the appropriation falls below the trigger level.  The trigger for Fiscal Year 2008 is $400 million.  Under the second component of state assessments, Grants for Enhanced Assessment Instruments, appropriations in excess of the trigger level are used for a competitive grant program designed to support efforts by states to improve the quality and fairness of their assessment systems.

Rural Education.  Funding for rural education is equally divided between the Small, Rural Schools Achievement Program, which provides funds to LEAs that serve a small number of students, and the Low-Income and Rural Schools Program, which provides funds to LEAs that serve concentrations of poor students, regardless of the number of students served.  S.1710 would provide $168.92 million for rural education programs, the same amount as the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation and $67,000 more than the Administration’s request. 

Innovation and Improvement

Charter Schools Grants.  Federal funds support the planning, development, and initial implementation of charter schools, which are public schools that receive exemptions from many statutory and regulatory requirements in exchange for promising to meet agreed-upon accountability measures.  State education agencies (SEAs) that have the authority under state law to approve charter schools are eligible to compete for grants.  If an eligible SEA does not participate, charter schools from the state may apply directly to the Secretary of Education.  S.1710 would provide $214.78 million for the support of charter schools.  This amount is $1,000 more than the Administration’s budget request and the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation.

 

Advanced Placement Programs. The main priority of these programs is to subsidize test fees for low-income students who are enrolled in an advanced placement class and plan to take an advanced placement test.  Funding is also used to expand access for low-income individuals to advanced placement programs.  S.1710 would proved $42 million for advanced placement programs.  This amount is $5 million greater than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $80 million less than the Administration’s budget request.

Safe Schools and Citizenship Education

Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities. This program is designed to help improve school safety and reduce drug use by supporting comprehensive, integrated approaches to drug and violence prevention.  S.1710 would provide $300 million for activities to promote safe and drug-free schools and communities.  This amount is $47 million less than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation, and $200 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Elementary School Counseling. S.1710 would provide $40 million to establish or expand counseling programs in elementary schools.  This amount is $5 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.  The Bush Administration did not request any funds for this program.

Physical Education. S.1710 would provide $80 million to help LEAs and community-based organizations initiate, expand and improve physical education programs for students in grades K-12.  This amount is $7 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level.  The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program.

Civic Education. S.1710 would provide $30 million, which is about $900,000 more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation, for grants to improve the quality of civics and government education; to foster civic competence and responsibility; and to improve the quality of civic and economic education through exchange programs with emerging democracies.   The Bush Administration did not request any funding for this program.

English Language Acquisition

The Department of Education makes formula grants to states based on each state’s share of the nation’s limited-English proficient and recent immigrant student population. The program is designed to increase the capacity of states and school districts to address the needs of these students.  S.1710 would provide $670.82 million for English language acquisition. This amount is the same as the Administration’s budget request, and $2 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation.

Special Education

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides assistance to ensure that all children with disabilities have access to a free, appropriate public education.  S.1710 would provide $12.33 billion for special education programs authorized by the IDEA. This amount is $528 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation, and $845 million more than the budget request.  Of this total, $11.24 billion would be for IDEA Part B state grants, and $450 million would be for grants for the infants and families program under part C of the IDEA.

Special Education Part B State Grants.  As described above S.1710 would provide $11.24 billion for Part B grants to states, an increase of $457 million over the Fiscal Year 2007 amount.  The Bush Administration proposed cutting the program by $291 million.  S.1710 would reverse the declining share of federal resources for educating students with disabilities and raise it to 18 percent, the same as in Fiscal Year 2006.

Rehabilitation Services and Disability Research

Vocational Rehabilitation State Grants.  Basic state grant funds assist states in providing a range of services to help individuals with physical and mental disabilities prepare for and engage in meaningful employment.  S.1710 would provide $2.87 billion for vocational rehabilitation grants to states.  This amount is $37 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and the Administration’s request.

Assistive Technology.  The Assistive Technology program is designed to improve occupational and educational opportunities and the quality of life for people of all ages with disabilities through increased access to assistive technology services and devices.  S.1710  would provide $32 million for assistive technology, $1.5 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 funding level and $5.9 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Career, Technical and Adult Education

Career and technical education state grantsassist states, localities, and outlying areas to expand and improve their programs of career and technical education, and provide equal access to career and technical education for populations with special needs.  S.1710 would provide $1.18 billion for career and technical education state grants, the same amount as the fiscal year 2007 funding level and almost $582 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Student Financial Assistance

 

Pell Grant Program.  Pell grants provide need-based financial assistance that helps low- and middle-income undergraduate students and their families pay the costs of postsecondary education and vocational training. S.1710 would provide $14.49 billion for Pell grant awards in the 2008/2009 academic year, supporting a maximum Pell grant award of $4800.  This amount is $826 million more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and $1.07 billion more than the Administration’s budget request.

Work-Study Program.  This program provides grants to more than 3,300 institutions to help an estimated 880,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students meet the costs of postsecondary education through part-time employment.  S.1710 would provide $980.49 million for the federal Work-Study Program, the same as Administration’s budget request and $138,000 more than the Fiscal Year 2007 level.

Federal Perkins Loans. The Federal Perkins Loan program supports student loan revolving funds build up with capital contributions to about 1,900 participating institutions.  S.1710 would include $65.47 million for federal Perkins loans capital contributions, which is the same as the 2007 appropriation.  The Administration’s budget request did not include any funds for this program.

Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership Program (LEAP).  LEAP plays an important role in maintaining a federal-state partnership for ensuring that postsecondary education is available to all academically-qualified Americans.  LEAP provides a federal match to states as an incentive for providing need-based grant and work-study assistance to eligible postsecondary students.  For the LEAP program, S.1710 would include $64.99 million, the same amount as the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation.  The Administration proposed eliminating this program.

Higher Education

Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs).  S.1710 would provide $94.91 million for institutions at which Hispanic students make up at least 25 percent of enrollment, approximately the same as the Administration’s request, and the Fiscal Year 2007 level.

Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).  Formula grants are available to HBCUs to purchase equipment, construct and renovate facilities, develop faculty, support academic programs, strengthen institutional management, enhance fundraising activities, provide tutoring and counseling services to students, and conduct outreach to elementary and secondary school students. The minimum allotment is $500,000 for each eligible institution.   S.1710 would provide $238.10 million for these grants, the same as the Administration’s request and the Fiscal Year 2007 level.

Strengthening Tribally-Controlled Colleges and Universities (TCUs). S.1710 would provide $24.48 million for strengthening TCUs, an increase of $905,000 over the Fiscal Year 2007 level, and almost $6 million more than the Administration’s budget request.

Federal TRIO Programs. TRIO programs provide a variety of services to improve postsecondary education opportunities for low-income individuals and first-generation college students.  S.1710 would provide $858.18 million for federal TRIO programs, an increase of $30 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 appropriation and the Administration’s budget request.

Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP).  Program funds are used by states and partnerships of colleges, middle and high schools, and community organizations to assist middle and high schools serving a high percentage of low-income students, as they help students prepare for and pursue a postsecondary education.  S.1710 would provide $313.42 million for GEAR UP, an increase of $10 million over the amount provided in Fiscal Year 2007 and the Administration’s budget request.

Title IV: Related Agencies

Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

CNCS makes grants to states, institutions of higher education, public and private nonprofit organizations, and others to create service opportunities for students, out-of-school youth, and adults.  S.1710 would provide $880.9 million for this account, which is $3.64 million below this Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $52.23 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Domestic Volunteer Service Programs. S.1710 would provide $313.05 million for the domestic volunteer service programs of CNCS, including the Volunteers in Service to America Program, the Foster Grandparent Program, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.  This amount is $3.5 million below the 2007 level and $18.93 million above the 2008 budget request. 

National and Community Service Programs. This account includes funding for AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve American, and Innovation, Demonstration, Assistance, and Evaluation activities.  S.1710 would provide $491.44 million for this account, which is $2.63 million below the 2007 level and $32.01 above the 2008 budget request.

Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBP)

S.1710 would provide $420 million for CBP, in an advance appropriation for Fiscal Year 2010.  This amount is $20 million above the Fiscal Year 2007 level.  The Administration’S..2008 budget request does not include advance funds for this program.  This account would include $29.7 million for the conversion to digital broadcasting, which is equal to the 2007 level.  The Administration requested $30.6 million in previously appropriated funds for this purpose.

In addition, the Senate bill would provide $26.75 million for the replacement of the radio interconnection system, which is $7.9 million below the 2007 level.   The Administration requested $26.75 million in previously appropriated funds for this purpose.

Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission

S.1710 would provide $8.1 million for this commission, which provides administrative trial and appellate review of legal disputes under the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977.  This amount is $318,000 above this year’s level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)

The NLRB was created to ensure fair labor practices.  This agency holds the elections that determine whether a workplace will unionize, and investigates charges of illegal labor practices by employers and unions.  S.1710 would fund the NLRB at $256.99 million, which is $5.48 million above the 2007 level and $750,000 above the 2008 budget request. 

Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission (OSHA)

S.1710 would provide $10.7 million for this commission, which adjudicates disputes between the OSHA and employers charged with violations of health and safety standards enforced by the agency.  This amount is $225,000 above the 2007 level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

Railroad Retirement Board

Dual Benefits Payments Account.  S.1710 would provide $79 million for this account, which is $9 million below the 2007 comparable level and equal to the 2008 budget request. 

Social Security Administration (SSA)

S.1710 would provide $48.58 billion for SSA, which is $3.76 billion below the Fiscal Year 2007 comparable level and $127 million above the Fiscal Year 2008 budget request. 

Payments to Social Security Trust Funds.  Of this amount, $28.14 million would be provided for Social Security trust funds, which reimburse the old age and survivors and disability insurance trust funds for special payments to certain uninsured persons, costs incurred administering pension reform activities, and the value of the interest for benefit checks issued but not negotiated. 

Supplemental Security Income. In addition to the $16.81 billion appropriated in 2007 as an advance for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2008, S.1710 would appropriate $26.96 billion for supplemental security income in the SSA account.  The Appropriations Committee would also advance $14.8 billion for the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2009. 

Administrative Expenses.  S.1710 would provide $9.72 billion for the SSA administrative expenses.  This amount is $426.38 million more than the 2007 comparable level and $125 million more than the President’S.2008 budget request.  These increases are aimed at reducing the backlog of disability claims.

Legislative History

On June 21, 2007, the Senate Committee on Appropriations passed S.1710, the L-HHS-Ed Appropriations bill, on a 26-3 vote.  The bill was reported to the Senate on June 27, by Senator Harkin, Chairman of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Subcommittee.  The bill was placed on Senate Legislative Calendar that day.    

The Senate is expected to bring the House-passed version of the bill, H.R.3043 to the floor on October 17.  The House bill, which passed on July 19 (276-140) would appropriate $607 billion for the L-HHS-Ed agencies, including $151.7 billion in discretionary spending.  On the first day of debate, a substitute amendment (S.A. 3325) was offered to replace the text of the House billwith that of S.1710

Expected Amendments

In addition to the substitute amendment, several amendments are expected to S.1710

As of this writing, the following amendments have been filed:

S.A. 3320 (Coburn) – Restricting the use of funds on certain matters at the Centers for Disease Control;

S.A. 3321 (Coburn) – Regarding Bethel Performing Arts Center project;

S.A. 3322 (Coburn) – Regarding early intervention and special education programs;

S.A. 3323 (Coburn) – Regarding annual report card for the Department of Education;

S.A. 3324 (Sessions) – Regarding funding at the Office of Labor Management Standards;

S.A. 3326 (Roberts) – Inserting language and funding for the Small Business Child Care Grant Program; and

S.A. 3327 and S.A. 3328 (Vitter) – Regarding the importation of prescription drugs.

As information on these amendments becomes available, information will be sent to the DPC Labor, Health, and Education e-mail lists.

Statement of Administration Policy

On October 17, the White House issued a Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) for S.1710.   The Administration strongly opposes the bill, primarily because it exceeds the President’s Fiscal Year 2008 budget request and included* provisions that would supersede his guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research.  On July 17, the Administration issued a similar SAP in opposition to H.R.3043.  The President has threatened to veto the House appropriations bill, primarily because it exceeds his Fiscal Year 2008 budget request.  For more details, see the SAP at H.R.3043sap-h.pdf" title= "http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/110-1/H.R.3043sap-h.pdf">http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/legislative/sap/110-1/H.R.3043sap-h.pdf

*On the first day of debate, Senator Harkin removed the stem cell provisions from the bill.  For this reason, those provisions are not included in the summary of major provisions above.

Related Reading

RL34076 – CRS, Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education: FY 2008 Appropriations, July 6, 2007. (This document has not been updated and does not include detailed information about the S.1710.  It does, however, summarize key issues in each section of the appropriations bill.)

Senate Committee on Appropriations, Press Release, “Senate Appropriations Committee Clears Fiscal 2008 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Funding Legislation,” June 21, available at http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm.

Senate Committee on Appropriations, “Senate Labor Health Human Services Education Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee FY2008 Funding Summary,” available at http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/news.cfm.

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