Congressional appropriators start work on the arduous process of approving a federal budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. The House Appropriations Committee began by dividing the sequester-level cap of $1.017 trillion among the 12 appropriations committee.
Strikingly, the allocations make deep cuts to the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education spending bill, which covers many critical education, health and children/youth serving programs. The House allocations are more than $3.7 billion less than current spending levels.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), the senior Democrat on the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations subcommittee, says that after adjusting for inflation, the budget for this bill has been cut by almost $20 billion since FY 2010.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, also condemned the allocations, offering an alternative plan which mirrored the President’s budget request. It would have provided $167.67 billion for Labor-HHS appropriations and $64.86 billion for the Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bill. It was defeated on a party-line vote.
The House Appropriations Committee has passed two of the 12 spending bills – the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs bill and the Energy and Water bill. The two bills approved by the committee have spending totals of more than $5 billion more than those two bills last year. With a total spending cap for all 12 bills only $3 billion over last year, these increases will cause further cuts to children and youth programs covered under the Labor-HHS and Transportation-Housing and Urban Development bills.
The Senate has not yet passed any appropriations measures.