Rep. Roybal-Allard Statement on Labor-HHS-Education/Defense Appropriations Bill
Today, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40), a member of the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee and a member of the conference committee for the Department of Defense and Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act for 2019 and Continuing Appropriations Act for 2019 (H.R. 6157), issued the following statement on H.R. 6157 as it passed the House of Representatives:
“I support the conference report to accompany H.R. 6157, and I commend Ranking Members Nita Lowey, Rosa DeLauro, and Pete Visclosky, as well as Chairmen Rodney Frelinghuysen and Tom Cole and Chairwoman Kay Granger and our Senate counterparts for coming together on this bill. And I would be remiss if I did not recognize the outstanding efforts of both the majority and minority LHHS subcommittee staff – Susan Ross, Jen Cama, Kathryn Salmon, Justin Gibbons, Lori Bias, Stephen Steigleder, and Robin Juliano – for their dedication, professionalism and responsiveness to staff on both sides of the aisle throughout the entire appropriations process.
“While I wish the bills had come to the floor separately under regular order to give proper time to debate and discuss all the issues, I am pleased that the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill is getting a vote on the floor for the first time in more than 10 years.
“This is a good bill. It rejects the draconian cuts the Trump administration proposed and strengthens our commitment to our constituents by funding critical programs. It also ensures our national defense remains strong in a dangerous world.
“I am particularly pleased that HHS programs received such robust funding in this Conference agreement.
“The bill increases funding for three of my top legislative priorities: fighting underage drinking, supporting newborn screening, and reducing maternal mortality. At a time when this country is experiencing the highest rates of sexually transmitted diseases in history, this bill restores both the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program and all Title X Family Planning dollars that help our teens gain critical access to reproductive health care and education. And as this country faces a growing demand for health care providers, the conference report reinstates the Health Careers Opportunity Program to increase workforce diversity and restores funding for the Community Health Centers and the Nursing Workforce Programs to their FY18 funding levels.
“As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Subcommittee, I was particularly pleased that the bill includes amendments from our markup to protect unaccompanied migrant children, including allowing Members of Congress to access facilities funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement for oversight visits. Finally, I am glad that we were able to maintain funding to help separated children deal with trauma.
“Among Education and Labor programs, I am glad the maximum Pell award will get an increase, which I called for during our committee markup. I am also pleased we were able to work together to provide modest increases to Head Start and TRIO programs to serve students with the highest needs. Finally, the bill provides modest increases in funding for apprenticeships and maintains language that directs those funds to proven registered apprenticeships.
“In the Defense section of the bill, I am pleased that we maintained the 2.6% military pay raise and that we express support for a civilian pay raise as well. The bill also ensures that families can receive death gratuities during government shutdowns. Finally, I am grateful that we were able to continue to show bipartisan support for assisting survivors of military sexual assault.
“This bill funds vital programs and ensures that our government will remain open through December. I am proud to vote in support of the bill, and I encourage my colleagues to join me so that we can safeguard the health and well-being of the most vulnerable in our country and keep our nation secure.”