FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
July 13, 2017
Contact: Allie Aguilera, Press Secretary, 202-734-6529
[Washington]- Today, the House Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee will mark up a proposed spending bill that would cut $5B from the entire Labor-H portfolio, down to $156B from $161B in FY17. The bill would cut funding to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and the Department of Labor, making it harder for millions of young adults to get vital services they rely upon to help provide access to health care, higher education and job training. This bill is also part of a striking departure from the recent years of bipartisan budget parity where defense and non-defense spending were adjusted in tandem. This Congress appears to be abandoning that agreement by slashing non-defense spending that goes toward critical social and health programs, in favor of spiking defense spending.
Most alarming among the proposed cuts is a brutal $3.3B cut to the Pell Grant program, which provides vital grant aid to millions of low-income students. This cut builds on top of the $1.3B cut that was included in the May budget deal, threatening the future stability of the program and is the opposite of needed investment in, and expansion of, Pell. Furthermore, the bill freezes the maximum Pell grant for the first time in six years, decoupling it from an annual inflation adjustment at a time when college is more expensive than ever and the purchasing power of Pell continues to decline.
The bill also freezes the overall pool of money used to fund programs like Federal Work Study and the CCAMPIS program, eliminates a line-item dedicated to increased apprenticeship funding, and, as the House’s own summary describes, “prohibt[s] the use of any new discretionary funding to implement Obamacare.” All in all, this spending bill continues the recent trend of House Labor-H Appropriations bills that come up short when it comes to investing in our generation.