Senate sets 2014 labor and ed spending levels.

June 24, 2013

On June 20, the Senate Appropriations Committee adopted the 302(b) allocations for the fiscal year (FY) 2014 appropriations bills.

Each year, the House and Senate appropriations committees must set specific funding levels—referred to as “302(b) allocations”—for each of the 12 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-H bill”).

The Senate Appropriations committee adopted the highest possible topline allocation for its 12 appropriations bills at the pre-sequester level of $1.058 trillion, consistent with the budget resolution that passed the Senate in April. The committee adopted a $164.33 billion 302(b) allocation for the Labor-H bill. 

NSC strongly supports the Senate allocations and, earlier this week, wrote to Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Labor-H Subcommittee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA) expressing appreciation for their recognition of the value of health, education, job training, and social services in improving the lives of American families and strengthening our global position. The Campaign to Invest in America’s Workforce and NDD United—two coalitions which NSC helps convene—sent similar letters of support to Senators Mikulski and Harkin.

Unlike the Senate, the House Appropriations Committee last month adopted a Labor-H 302(b) allocation of $121.8 billion. The House Labor-H allocation is 18.6 percent below the final FY 2013 sequester level and 22.2 percent below the FY 2013 pre-sequester Continuing Resolution level. 

National Skills Coalition estimates that if the House proposal is enacted into law, workforce programs would face devastating cuts, including:

  • Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Title I = -$459 million
  • Vocational Rehabilitation = -$64 million
  • Career and technical education = -$198 million
  • Adult Basic Education= -$103 million
  • Wagner-Peyser Employment Services = -$124 million

NSC estimates that under the House proposal, as many as 6 million individuals would lose access to critical education and training services.

Over the course of the next several weeks, the Senate will work to set spending levels for the specific programs funded under each appropriations bill. The Senate may move a Labor-H bill through the full Appropriations committee as soon as the week of July 8. NSC will provide additional updates as the process moves forward.