House proposal would make devastating cuts.

May 23, 2013

Earlier this week, the House Appropriations Committee released its proposed funding allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills. The House proposal would make drastic cuts to health, education, job training and social services programs.

Each year, the House and Senate appropriations committees must set specific funding levels—referred to as “302(b) allocations”—for each of the twelve regular appropriations bills, including the bill providing funding for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies (commonly referred to as the “Labor-HHS bill”).

The proposed 302(b) allocation for the FY 2014 Labor-HHS bill is 18.6 percent below the FY 2013 post-sequester funding level, and is 22.2 percent below the FY 2013 pre-sequester level. Cuts of this magnitude would cause real and irreparable harm to millions of Americans. 

National Skills Coalition estimates that if the committee’s proposal is enacted into law, workforce programs would lose $1.4 billion in funding in 2014 alone—and more than 6 million people would immediately lose access to critical education and training services.
National Skills Coalition, as a co-convener of the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce (CIAW) recently joined with the Coalition for Health Funding and the Committee for Education Funding on behalf of more than 900 national, state and local organizations to urge the Committee to reject the proposed 302(b) allocations. Prior to the committee’s announcement, this same group of organizations wrote to House and Senate appropriators urging them to prioritize funding for health, education, job training, and social services programs in the 2014 appropriations cycle.

Although the Senate has not yet released its 302(b) allocations, it is unlikely that they will resemble the House allocations. The Senate plans to fund the government at $1.06 trillion—consistent with the 2011 deficit reduction law—while the House plans to fund the government at $960B, which is well below the existing budgetary caps.

Labor-HHS programs—along with other discretionary programs—have contributed $1.5 trillion to deficit reduction since FY 2011. National Skills Coalition, along with the signing organizations, has called for Congress to adopt a balanced approach to deficit reduction that does not include further cuts to discretionary programs. NSC will continue to monitor developments in the FY 2014 budget and appropriations process relating to workforce funding, and will provide updates to the field as new information becomes available.