Senate advances FY2019 Labor-HHS spending bill

By Katie Spiker, September 19, 2018

*On September 26th, the House passed legislation that included the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill. The President is expected to sign the package this week, an on time passage for the Labor-HHS bill for the first time in more than 20 years. In addition to funding for the Labor-HHS and Defense bills, it also includes a Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the government at current year levels for portions not covered by this package or a separate minibus passed earlier this fall. The CR will last through December 7th, and the House is expected to adjourn after this week through midterm elections.


Earlier today the Senate advanced the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) spending bill. The bill reflects an agreement reached last week between conferees in both the House and the Senate and would largely level fund workforce programming under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) with increased funding levels for both Career and Technical Education and Adult Education state grants.

The bill tracks closely to the bipartisan spending package the Senate passed in August, which provides $200 million higher than the final FY 2018 Labor-HHS spending levels. With this increased allocation, the final agreement includes a $15 million increase in funding for apprenticeship grants, to $160 million for FY 2019, and small increases to both the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworker and Native American national programs. The bill also includes an almost $4 million cut to Employment Service grants to states.

Career and Technical Education state grants will receive $70 million more than in FY 2018, to $1.26 billion. This increase is consistent with the House’s proposed increase in their Labor-HHS bill and reflects broad bipartisan support for the newly reauthorized Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, signed in to law this summer. Adult Education and Family Literacy state grants also increased by $25 million over FY2018 levels to nearly $642 million in FY 2019. In their report language, conferees expressed concern about the administration’s proposed reorganization of the Office of English Language Acquisition and the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE).

The bill also increased the maximum Pell award for FY 2019 by $100 to $6,195.

The House is expected to pass the bill next week upon return from recess, allowing the President to sign the bill into law prior to September 30th, the end of FY 2018. If this happens, it will be the first time in more than twenty years Congress has completed the Labor-HHS bill on time.

NSC applauds appropriators for their work in advancing this important bill efficiently and for increases to important programs that will help states and local areas train workers to meet business demand. Through the Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce, NSC looks forward to working with appropriators to continue the trend of investment in vital workforce and education programming.

FY 2018 Omnibus FY 2019 Labor-HHS Conference Report Change from FY 2018-2019

Department of Labor

Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Title I – State Formula Grants



WIOA Adult



WIOA Dislocated Worker



WIOA Youth



Wagner-Peyser Employment Service Grants



– $3,361,000

Workforce Data Quality Initiative Grants



Apprenticeship Grants




DW National Reserve



Native American Programs




Ex-Offender Activities



Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers







Senior Community Service Employment Program






Department of Education

Career and Technical Education State Grants




Adult Education and Family Literacy State Grants