Capitol Correspondence - 04.21.20

Broad Coalition Calls for Higher Labor-HHS Spending Levels in 2021

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With the federal budget process for Fiscal Year 2021 underway and moving forward separately from COVID-19 funding discussions, 317 organizations wrote to congressional appropriators asking them to increase spending limits in the yearly funding bill that covers labor, health and education programs. This bill, drafting of which will soon begin in earnest, is commonly known as the Labor-HHS bill. Since this legislation the U.S. Departments of Labor and Health & Human Services—and, by extension, Medicaid—ANCOR is keeping our members informed of broader discussions surrounding its development.

As written in the letter:

“Without a substantial increase in the Subcommittee’s allocation, it will be virtually impossible to meaningfully expand investments in important initiatives such as public health emergency preparedness and infectious disease surveillance, supporting the Every Student Succeeds Act, continuing to improve college affordability and completion, or achieving the intended innovation of the bipartisan Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act.

We are appreciative of Congress’s recent additional funding for Labor-HHS agencies and programs to support efforts to combat COVID-19 and acknowledge that supplemental funding is an important down payment towards meeting immediate needs. However, we believe that the long-term impact of COVID19 and the outcomes of future pandemics will be catastrophic if we do not provide robust investments through annual appropriations. Therefore, we urge you to commit to improving the lives of Americans by significantly boosting the allocation for the Labor-HHS-Education bill for FY 2021 to support needed services for the American public.”