Capitol Correspondence - 07.16.18

House Version of Labor-HHS Bill Moving to Full Floor Vote

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The House Appropriations Committee, which has jurisdiction over the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) budget, voted to send the bill funding HHS to the full House floor for a final vote. The bill passed out of Committee 30-22 solely on party line vote with full Republican support. The bill would allocate a bit over $177 billion to the Department, though it contains 18 amendments which could make the vote contentious because they are on controversial issues such as abortion and immigration. Not all votes to include amendments were partisan, however. The committee unanimously adopted one amendment by U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) to cut $100,000 per day from the HHS budget if by August HHS Secretary Azar did not present a detailed reunification plan for families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Because the Senate has already passed its own, bipartisan version of the Labor-HHS bill, the House’s more partisan provisions may not survive Senate and House negotiations to hash out differences – a process known as reconciliation. However, as ANCOR has previously noted, in past years the House has been persuaded to adopt the Senate’s language for funding bills to expedite the legislative process. As of now a full House vote has not been scheduled, but ANCOR will keep members informed of any new developments.