Sep 18 2018

Shelby: Senate Passes Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill, Includes Critical Funding for Alabama

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced final passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 (FY2019) Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill.  The bill was included in the conference report to accompany H.R. 6157, the minibus appropriations package which also contains the FY2019 Department of Defense funding bill.  The package provides $178.1 billion in funding to boost investments in critical medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, education, and workforce development.  Following passage in the House, which is expected to vote on the legislation next week, the package will be sent to the President’s desk for his signature. 

“This is the most significant step we have taken yet,” said Senator Shelby.  “This package increases NIH’s budget by $2 billion and provides critical resources to combat the opioid epidemic.  Returning to regular order has required us all to sacrifice and work together for the good of the process.  I want to thank my colleagues – particularly Leaders McConnell and Schumer and Vice Chairman Leahy – for their help in moving the Defense-Labor-HHS conference report before the Senate.  Not only does this package fund domestic priorities, but it also accelerates the rebuilding of America’s military and provides our men and women in uniform with the largest pay increase in nearly a decade.”

The appropriations minibus conference report was approved in the Senate by a vote of 93 – 7.  The Labor-HHS-Education portion of the package contains funding for programs that would benefit various institutions in the state of Alabama.

“Addressing our nation’s health and education needs is vital to the overall well-being of the American people,” Senator Shelby continued.  “Passage of this bill is a critical step forward in showcasing our state’s ability to lead the charge in medical breakthroughs and groundbreaking research.  The legislation also provides funding to prioritize programs that allow Alabama schools to continue to succeed.  I am confident that this bill will positively influence the lives of all Alabamians.”  

The Labor-HHS-Education and Defense bills represent the majority of discretionary federal spending, yet neither has been signed into law before the end of the fiscal year in a decade.  The Labor-HHS-Education portion of the bill provides $178.1 billion for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies for investments in critical medical research, opioid abuse prevention and treatment, and education.  This includes $39.1 billion for the National Institutes of Health, an increase of $2 billion, and $3.8 billion to combat the opioid crisis, an increase of $206 million. 

The legislation includes the following provisions impacting Alabama:

  • $39.084 billion, a $2 billion increase, for the National Institutes of Health.
    • Opioid Funding – $3.8 billion, an increase of $206 million above FY2018. This level includes $1.5 billion for the State Opioid Response grant in SAMHSA, replacing the sun-setting 21st Century CURES funds, and maintains 15 percent set-aside to the most impacted states and $50 million for Tribes. Additional funding includes:
      • $65 million increase for Community Health Center opioid efforts;
      • $50 million increase for Behavioral Health Clinics;
      • $500 million to continue NIH research related to opioids and pain management.  In addition, NIH will spend $774 million, a $58 million increase.
      • $440 million for the Charter Schools Program, an increase of $40 million.
        • $325 million for the Children's Hospital Graduate Medical Education Program, an increase of $10 million. The President's Budget proposed to eliminate this program.
        • $20 million for HRSA's Delta States Rural Development Network Grant program, an increase of $6 million.  This level includes $8 million, an increase of $4 million, to help small rural hospitals improve financial and operational performance.
        • $317.79 million for HRSA's Rural Health programs, an increase of $27 million. 
        • $6.14 billion included for NIH's National Cancer Institute, an increase of $186.9 million.
        • $22.8 million for poison control centers, an increase of $2 million.
        • $7.5 million for CDC Lupus Patient Registry, an increase of $1 million.