Space Launch Liability Indemnification Extension Actby Representative Rosa L. DeLauro
Posted on 2014-01-15
DeLAURO. Madam Speaker, while I will vote for this budget,
despite having made reservations, I would like to say a few words about
how Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education programs are
handled here, keeping in mind that of the 12 subcommittees of
appropriation, the Labor, HHS Subcommittee never even had a
subcommittee markup of the bill. After Defense, the Labor, HHS
Subcommittee has the largest portfolio of programs, programs that deal
with people's everyday lives, the lives of ordinary Americans.
The allocation for Labor, HHS was only $217 million above the 2013 [[Page H442]] presequester levels, only 12 percent of the nondefense funding increase, even though Labor, HHS makes up 32 percent of the nondefense budget, and this also despite the fact that we had over $1.4 billion in funding holes that had to be filled. The holes existed primarily because a few critical programs were living off of money appropriated a number of years ago, and that money is now all gone.
Unlike all of the other appropriations bills, we were prevented from using all of the options at our disposal to ensure reasonable funding levels for our important priorities. As a result, many critical programs here are still seeing deep sequester cuts.
The National Institutes of Health is the key driver of biomedical research in America, spurring innovation, economic growth, and good health for millions of Americans. Yet only 58 percent of the sequester cuts are restored in this budget. It is $700 million short.
Another example, job training services are part of the core, essential role of government. They help responsible people succeed because of their own hard work and businesses to secure the employees they need to grow. Here, job training programs were only restored by 81 percent, short $45 million.
Title I, which aids at-risk children, and IDEA, for children with disabilities, are two fundamental building blocks of our K through 12 education system. Both are only restored here by 85 percent.
This bill does include some welcome and much-needed funding for other priorities, and for that, I am grateful to Ranking Member Lowey and to the unbelievably devoted staff, David Reich and Lisa Molyneux. Those priorities include mental health, Head Start, and child care. We need to do more to support these programs.
Given the decade-long trend downward for Labor, HHS funding, level funding is not enough. We endanger our families and our future by shortchanging these programs. While I will support this budget, as we move forward, we can and we must do better by America's families.