House Approves $602B Fiscal Year 2006 Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill
The House on Friday voted 250-151 to approve a $602 billion Labor-HHS-Education fiscal year 2006 appropriations bill (HR 3010), the Washington Post reports (Murray, Washington Post, 6/25). The legislation would provide $142.5 billion in funds for discretionary spending for FY 2006 -- $164 million less than for FY 2005 and $924 million more than President Bush requested -- with the remainder used to fund mandatory programs such as Medicare and Medicaid (Swindell, CQ Today, 6/24).
Among other federal programs, the bill would provide funds for a number of medical research, heath care and public health programs, as well as funds to implement the new Medicare prescription drug benefit that begins in January 2006. The legislation also would eliminate 57 programs and freeze or reduce funds for many other programs, according to the Post (Washington Post, 6/25). Under the bill, NIH would receive $28.5 billion for FY 2006 -- a $142 million, or 0.5%, increase from FY 2005 and equal to the amount Bush requested.
The House rejected by voice vote an amendment proposed by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) that sought to block federal funds for hospitals that provide care for undocumented immigrants.
The Senate Appropriations Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee on July 12 plans to mark up the Senate version of the bill, which would provide about $1.2 billion less in funds for discretionary spending (CQ Today, 6/24). NPR's "All Things Considered" on Friday reported on the bill. The segment includes comments from Reps. Chet Edwards (D-Texas), Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) and Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) (Seabrook, "All Things Considered," NPR, 6/24). The complete segment is available online in RealPlayer.