House Takes Up FY 2020 Appropriations Packages Including Education Research Agencies
House Takes Up FY 2020 Appropriations Packages Including Education Research Agencies

June 2019

On June 19, the House voted 226–203 to pass an appropriations package, HR 2740, consisting of four spending bills for FY 2020, including the legislation for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education (LHHS).

As mentioned in the May 2019 AERA Highlights, the LHHS bill includes $650 million overall for the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), $1.58 billion for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and $41.1 billion overall for the National Institutes of Health.

Prior to the full House consideration of the bill, the House Rules Committee considered more than 190 amendments just to the LHHS section. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-CA) submitted an amendment for a $20 million increase for IES through an offset decreasing funding for charter schools in the Education Department’s Office of Innovation and Improvement account. The amendment ultimately was not considered as part of the package on the House floor.

On June 25, the House voted 227-194 to pass a second appropriations package, HR 3055, containing five bills that include the Commerce, Justice, and Science legislation (CJS) legislation.

The bill includes $8.63 billion for the National Science Foundation, including $950 million for the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate and $7.1 billion for Research and Related Activities (R&RA). An amendment by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) would have provided an additional $5 million to EHR “to stimulate sustainable improvement in HBCU research and development capacity and competitiveness” with an offset from the R&RA account. However, the amendment was not offered on the floor and did not receive a vote.

The package would also provide $8.45 billion for the Census Bureau, with $7.5 billion for the 2020 Decennial Census. AERA joined a letter from the Census Project urging House members to support the level of funding for the Census Bureau in the bill.

As the House continues action, the Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet begun markups for FY 2020. The conversation on appropriations continues to hinge on a potential deal to raise spending caps in the Budget Control Act. Without an increase in the caps, nondefense discretionary spending will be slashed by $55 billion, but there has not been much movement toward a deal.

On June 19, congressional leaders met with Trump administration officials to discuss a potential budget deal. After the meeting, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the administration proposed a one-year suspension of the debt ceiling and a one-year continuing resolution that would maintain current spending levels in FY 2020.

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