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House Panel Approves Cuts to Department of Education Funding
 
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June 2015

 

For the first time in three years, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education has passed a funding bill. This legislation includes funding for programs within the U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and other related agencies. The bill passed, along party lines, on June 17.

The House appropriations subcommittees are working under budget caps established by the Budget Control Act of 2011. Despite the threat of a presidential veto and widespread recognition that these caps are excessively low, the committee approved a bill that adheres to them. The bill cuts $3.7 billion from the 2015 fiscal year (FY) enacted level of $157 billion and is $14.6 billion below the president’s budget request for FY 2016.

  • The U.S. Department of Education fares particularly poorly, funded at $64.4 billion, $6.4 billion below the president’s budget request and $2.8 billion below the 2015 fiscal year level. The bill eliminates between 20 and 30 programs, and makes reductions to several others. The Institute of Education Sciences budget is $409 million, a $165 million decrease from the FY 2015 level of $574 million. At the time this piece was written, specific information about funding for the National Centers was unavailable.
  • The National Institutes of Health (NIH) receives a total $31.2 billion in this bill, $1.1 billion above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $100 million above the president’s budget request. Of particular interest to the field of education research, the legislation includes $165 million within this funding to support activities for the National Children’s Study and increases the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neuro-technologies (BRAIN) initiative to $150 million, a $95 million increase.
  •  The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) budget is funded at $17.8 billion in discretionary funding, $50 million above the fiscal year 2015 enacted level and $1.9 billion below the president’s budget request. The Head Start program receives $8.8 billion, a $192 million increase, of which $150 million is targeted to Early Head Start.
During the hearing, Democrats offered several amendments. One offered by Ranking Member DeLauro (D-CT) included a $55 million increase for the Institute of Education Sciences. None of the amendments passed. 
 
 
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