House Panel OKs $196.5B Spending Bill for HHS, Labor, Education Programs

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A House panel has approved a spending bill that earmarks $196.5 billion for programs under the departments of Education (DoE), Labor (DoL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) as well as agencies like the Social Security Administration (SSA).

The House Appropriations Committee voted 30-22 on Monday to pass the fiscal 2021 Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies bill which includes $24.4 billion in emergency spending to support state and local governments' public health and unemployment initiatives.

The FY 2021 figure represents a significant increase from the FY 2020 enacted level and adds $20.8 billion to President Trump’s 2021 budget request following adjustments and offsets, according to the committee. The bill additionally covers provisions for employer-sponsored health plans and coverage for mental and behavioral health.

Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said the spending bill builds on the efforts of the House panel’s Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education and Related Agencies to drive “critical federal investments” amid the global health crisis.

“This legislation builds upon our previous emergency and supplemental response packages and represents our critical work to defeat the coronavirus, not surrender to it,” note DeLauro, who serves as the subcommittee’s chairwoman. “With this bill, we help our constituents access new cures, new treatments, new research, and new protections to help them and their families live healthier lives.”

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