DeLauro Floor Remarks on Labor-HHS-Education Funding in Six-Bill Appropriations Minibus
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Chair Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor in support of the Labor-HHS-Education funding in H.R. 7617, the second minibus of the fiscal year 2021 appropriations bills. A video of DeLauro’s remarks can be found here:\
I rise to speak on the portion of the bill for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education.
To start, let me commend my dear friend, the chair of the full appropriations committee, Congresswoman Nita Lowey, a path breaker and a change maker. Nita Lowey has made the nation, and the world, a far better place because of her commitment to this subcommittee: to quality education and afterschool programs to protections for working men and women, and, under her leadership, appropriations proceeded despite and in response to this virus and the disparities it has exposed. She is a force. She leaves a legacy of excellence and of innovation. I will miss you my friend. I will miss you in the halls, and I will miss you on the committee, but our friendship carries on.
I also want to say a thank you to Ranking Member Cole, for his friendship and for his gracious collaborative spirit in which we work together on the Labor-HHS bill. While we have differences of opinion on issues, there is no difference of opinion on the shared values that we have in providing opportunity, and creating opportunity, for the people of this country.
For 2021, the Labor-HHS bill includes $196.5 billion in overall funding: an increase of $2.4 billion above the 2020 enacted level and $20.8 billion above the President’s 2021 budget request.
This bill supports some of our nation’s most critical programs. From Early Head Start to Social Security to CDC and NIH, they touch individuals and families throughout their lives. They create opportunity and allow America to realize its values and promise.
The Labor-H subcommittee also continues to be central to our response to COVID-19, and the serious racial and economic disparities it has exposed. Since March, we have appropriated $280 billion dollars in emergency funding for education, for health, and for working people throughout the pandemic. We add $300 billion in the HEROES bill: $197 billion in health, $100 billion in education, $3.1 billion in labor.
Today, we seek to build on those emergency and supplemental packages, so we can be making it safe so the economy can reopen. Our members recognize the importance of this bill. The Subcommittee received more than 15,000 requests for today’s bill. I am proud to say that we were able to fulfill – either in total or in part – most of them, from both sides of the aisle.
Let me give a brief overview.
Together, we are making investments for the nation: for health, for education, and for good-paying, safe and secure jobs, and to address the disparities that have been exposed by this virus.
For health, $96 billion for programs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, an increase of $1.5 billion above the enacted level for 2020. That includes a $500 million increase for NIH and $232 million increase for CDC.
For families, children, and seniors in need, we provide $150 million more for Head Start; $100 million more for child care; $25 million more for Preschool Development Grants, and $25 million more for LIHEAP.
For education, we provide a $716 million increase from 2020. That includes $254 million more for Tile I-Education for the Disadvantaged, $194 million more for IDEA state grants, $150 dollars more for the maximum Pell grant, and $50 million more for minority-serving higher education institutions. The school year approaches. The White House chooses to make that a political battle to threaten schools and teachers. Instead of beating them down, we are lifting them up, to invest in them so they can meet the challenge that faces them.
And, for working Americans, this bill provides an increase for the Department of Labor $254 million above 2020 to $12.7 billion total in discretionary appropriations. When unemployment remains at alarmingly high levels, we are investing in job opportunities and in worker protection. With $50 million more for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Grants to States, $12 million more for Job Corps, and a $15 million total increase for worker protection programs.
Those are future investments to address the long-term gaps exposed by this virus. But to more immediately address today’s crisis, we also provide $24.425 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. To CDC, NIH, and BARDA. These monies support State and local public health departments, public health laboratories, and global public health activities. They also include additional resources to accelerate the development and production of vaccines and therapeutics, which are necessary to combat this pandemic and allow the country to return to economic and social activities. This also includes funding the Public Health Emergency Fund that would allow the Secretary of HHS to draw down from those dollars immediately.
Let us act. Now, is the time for us to move boldly and swiftly to defeat the virus, and the racial disparities it has exposed in health, education, and the economy. We can and must do so by passing the bill before us. I urge my colleague to invest in our constituents, to invest in beating this virus and closing the gaps it has exposed. Let us vote yes to this bill. Thank you.