House Labor-HHS Supports Programs Important to New Jersey

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Fiscal Year 2018 Labor-Health and Human Services Appropriations bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee provides funding for many programs important to New Jersey and New Jerseyans.  The legislation includes funding for programs within the Department of Labor, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education, and other related agencies.

“This bill reflects Republican priorities to cut spending and focus investments in programs our people need the most – public health and medical research, biodefense, fundamental education, and proven programs that increase job growth, for example,” House Appropriations Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11) said. “It also includes important provisions to stop government overreach.”

National Institutes of Health - NIH funding is increased by $1.1 billion for total of $35.2 billion, which supports research at Universities throughout New Jersey, such as 2017 grantees St. Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Atlantic Health System in Morristown, Kessler Foundation in West Orange.  The bill contains a targeted increase of $300 million at NIH to support Cancer Moonshot which increases support for New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute (NCI)-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. 

Specifically, the bill provides increases for additional key research initiatives:

  • $1.8 billion, a $400 million increase, for Alzheimer’s disease research,
  • $336 million, a $76 million increase, for the Brain Research through Application of Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) initiative,
  • $400 million, a $80 million increase, for the All of Us research initiative (formerly called the Precision Medicine Initiative),
  • $10 million, an $8 million increase, for regenerative medicine research, and
  • $12.6 million for the Gabriella Miller “Kids First” pediatric cancer research initiative.

Opioids - The bill maintains the robust funding level for programs to address the opioid abuse crisis, felt by communities throughout New Jersey. Specifically, the bill includes $747 million to address opioid and heroin abuse, which is the same as FY17 and $44 million above the request. This amount includes $500 million for the state response grants authorized in the 21st Century Cures Act, along with funding for programs authorized in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act.

Head Start - The bill provides $9.3 billion for Head Start, a $22 million increase, supporting our local Head Start programs.

Pell Grants - The bill maintains the current “year round” Pell Grant award at $5,920 to assist students attending colleges and universities throughout our state.

Senior Nutrition Programs- $838 million for senior nutrition programs, of which $227 million is for the Meals on Wheels.

Community Health Centers- funding of $1.4 billion, an increase of $900k above FY17 and $2.8 million above President’s budget request.  These health centers, such as the Zufall Health Centers in Dover, Morristown, West Orange, Flemington, Hackettstown, Newton, Somerville, provide care to underserved communities in every county of New Jersey including Essex, Morris, Passaic, and Sussex.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)– Level funded from FY17 and $3.3 billion above request.  This vital program helps low income families afford heating and energy services. The President's budget sought to eliminate this program.

Department of Labor (DOL) – The bill provides a total of $10.8 billion in discretionary appropriations for DOL The bill provides robust funding for job training programs and sufficient funding for labor enforcement and benefit protection agencies to fulfill their core missions, while reducing lower-priority and underperforming programs.

  • Employment Training Administration (ETA) – The legislation provides ETA with $8.5 billion – a decrease of $1.5 billion below last year’s enacted level and $848 million above the President’s budget request. This total includes $2.6 billion for job training grants, $84.5 million for YouthBuild, and $790 million in mandatory appropriations for Federal Unemployment Benefits and Allowances, which provides job training programs for workers who lose their jobs as a result of international trade.
  • Job Corps – The bill provides $1.69 billion for Job Corps, a decrease of $16 million over the 2017 enacted level and $239.7 million above the President’s budget request. Funding is included in addition to amounts provided in fiscal year 2017 for physical facility safety and security improvements.

In total, the draft bill includes $156 billion in discretionary funding, which is a reduction of $5 billion below the fiscal year 2017 enacted level. The bill cuts funding to lower-priority programs, while targeting investments in medical research, public health, biodefense, and important activities that help boost job growth. The legislation also includes several provisions to rein in unnecessary regulations.