Senate FY 2017 Spending Bill Includes Hike for HHS, Cut for DoEd

US Capitol BldgThe Senate Appropriations Committee passed the FY 2017 Labor, Health and Human Services and Education (Labor-HHS-Ed) spending bill, which provides a slight funding boost for HHS and a small cut for the Education Dept.

The bipartisan Labor-HHS-Ed bill would provide $161.9 billion in discretionary (annually appropriated) funding, $270 million below FY 2016 levels and $2 billion below President Obama’s request.

The Health and Human Services Dept. would receive $76.9 billion, $1.4 billion over current year spending; DoEd would receive $67.8 billion, a $220 million cut from current levels.

Among the cuts are a $117 million cut to afterschool programs and a $118 million cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), though at $7.1 billion, it’s still $76 million more than the president’s request. Funding for job training through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) is cut by nearly $74 million, or about 3%. Head Start received a $35 million increase over FY 2016 to a total of $9.2 billion. In addition, the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the primary source of federal funding for helping low-income families pay for child care, received a $25 million increase.

At DoEd, Title I grants to schools serving low-income students would increase by $500 million to $15.4 billion, but this includes $450 million for school improvements that used to be a separate line item and is now consolidated within the Title I grants program. The Student Support and Academic Enrichment block grant, which was created as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act passed in 2015 and authorized at $1.6 billion, received $300 million.

Bill Highlights

Apprenticeship Grants.  The bill includes $100 million to support the Labor Dept.’s ApprenticeshipUSA Initiative, an increase of $10 million from FY 2016.  This funding would expand innovative, job-driven approaches that expand apprenticeship programs to train workers with the 21st century skills that meet employer and industry workforce needs.  The bill directs the Department of Labor to generate and respond to new employer demand for apprenticeship programs and to recruit and serve under-represented populations.

Job Corps.  The bill includes $1.71 billion for this youth related DOL employment and training program, $21 million more than FY 2016.  The increase will be dedicated to upgrading safety and security of Job Corps centers, including improved training to detect security risks, increased security personnel staffing, additional mental health counseling, integrated behavior management approaches and related activities to improve the safety environment at Job Corps centers. YouthBuild was level funded.

Community Health Centers (CHCs). The bill includes $1.5 billion for CHCs, protecting funding for one of the largest HHS safety net systems of primary and preventive care in the country.  Combined with the mandatory funding provided in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, the program level for CHCs is $5.1 billion, $150 million more than president’s request and equal to the FY 2016 level.  

Family Planning Clinics. The bill includes $286.5 million for the Title X program, for comprehensive family planning and preventive health services.  This is level with this year.

Impact Aid. The bill includes $1.3 billion, $10 million more than both last year and the president’s request, for all currently funded programs of Impact Aid, which provides assistance to more than 1,000 school districts for lost revenue or increased costs resulting from federal activities, such as a military presence.

IDEA. The bill includes $11.95 billion, a $40 million increase, for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Part B formula grants that provide resources to states and school districts designed to help meet the excess costs of providing special education and related services to more than six million children with disabilities.

Homeless Student Education.  Support for homeless students under the McKinney-Vento Act receives $77 million, $7 million more than last year under the bill.  These funds support grants for services to homeless children, helping them enroll and succeed in school.  The homeless student population has increased 45% since 2008.


The appropriations process is proceeding through congressional committees but is moving more slowly through the full House and Senate. Twelve spending bills are required to keep the government operating. FY 2017 begins Oct. 1, so Congress must pass legislation to fund the government by Sept. 30.  Members leave for their August recess and National Conventions, beginning the third week of July. While a full appropriations package before the deadline is unlikely, anticipate a Continuing Resolution to fund the government until after the Presidential election on Nov. 8.

Info: (bill report).

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education. Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government. Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.
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