On Tuesday, the House Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee approved its FY 2020 funding bill along party lines. Amendments to the bill were held until full Committee markup, which is expected to be held on Wednesday, May 8th.
The bill provides $11.7 billion over FY 2019 levels, a 6.2% overall increase and is in marked contrast to the Administration’s budget proposal that would have cut 10% from current funding levels. Big winners in the bill are the National Institutes of Health, which received a $2 billion increase, as well as a $4 billion increase for early childhood programming. Within the Department of Education, over $4 billion in additional funding was provided for K-12 and postsecondary education. Overall funding for the Department increased by six percent.
Key Republicans on the Subcommittee expressed their concern that $11.7 in new spending would not be supported by the Administration and they highlighted the need for an overall budget agreement between the House and Senate, for which only initial discussions have begun, to avoid a potential government shutdown later this year.
While some individual program spending lines can be found in the legislative text, as well as the Subcommittee’s summary document, the exact funding for adult education and many other programs will be unveiled when the Committee Report is released on May 7th, in advance of full Committee markup on May 8th. Hill insiders indicate that the prospects appear strong for adult education to receive a modest increase in the House Labor-HHS bill, and we will report to you next week on the actual funding level that is included.
Once full Committee markup has been completed, the House leadership plans to attach the Labor-HHS bill to the Defense Appropriations bill and bring it to the House floor for a vote before June 30th.
The Senate does not yet have a timetable for its FY 2020 appropriations markups, but Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby (R-AL) indicated he would not mark up any bills until negotiations on a top line budget agreement are completed.
It is expected that the House Labor-HHS bill will have more funding available than its Senate counterpart bill (whenever it moves forward), and we will need your help to make the case for adult education funding through each stage of the appropriations process.