Senate Appropriations Committee Releases FY2020 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill

The Senate Appropriations Committee has released the text of its FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Appropriations billafter consideration of the bill in committee was postponed twice the previous week. The release of the text indicates that the Senate will forego formal committee proceedings on the bill and send it straight to the floor for a vote. Both chambers of Congress still have to come together to negotiate a final bill. Please read the analysis below and take action to support breastfeeding funding.


Take Action to Support Breastfeeding Funding:

It’s never too late to reach out to Members of Congress to let them know you support the $10M for CDC breastfeeding support programs provided in the House bill, and to urge that level of funding in the final FY2020 Appropriations bill! The USBC will continue advocating that Congress support an increase to funding for CDC breastfeeding support programs. 




Analysis: Senate Appropriations Committee Advances FY2020 LHHS Appropriations Bill

The FY2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations bill includes funding for programs within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and other related agencies. The bill combines $178.3 billion in base allocation with $9.4 billion in changes in mandatory programs. This represents a one percent increase over the FY2019 enacted level – the same percentage increase the subcommittee received from FY2018 to FY2019. Highlights from the bill that have an impact on breastfeeding families (excerpted from the conference report):

  • Includes $8M for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program. Funding for this program comes from the Prevention and Public Health Fund.
    • H.R. 2740 includes $10M ($2M more than Senate). Please see the Take Action section above to push for reconciliation in conference at the higher amount.
  • Eliminates the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health (REACH) program, which works to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through local, culturally appropriate programs, including breastfeeding support programs.
    • H.R. 2740 includes $71.95M for REACH, an increase of $16M from FY19.
  • Recommends extending the Task Force on Research in Pregnant Women and Lactating Women for at least an additional 2 years and requests a progress report be provided in fiscal year 2021.
  • Includes $32.14M for the Office of Women’s Health.
    • H.R. 2740 includes $36M ($3.86M more than Senate).
  • Includes $56.92M for the CDC’s Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO).
    • H.R. 2740 includes $58.92M ($2M more than Senate).
  • Expresses support for the CDC’s State Physical Activity and Nutrition (SPAN) program to implement evidence-based strategies at State and local levels to address risk factors for obesity and improve nutrition and physical activity, including breastfeeding support.
  • Maintains investments to reduce maternal mortality rates, including $12M within the Safe Motherhood and Infant Health Program for CDC to continue and expand its technical assistance to existing State Maternal Mortality Review Committees, and $23M within Special Projects of Regional and National Significance (SPRANS) for State Maternal Health Innovation Grants to continue support for the demonstrations to implement evidence-based interventions to address critical gaps in maternity care service delivery and reduce maternal mortality.
  • Includes $56.92M for the Office of Minority Health.
    • H.R. 2740 includes $65M ($8.08 more than Senate).
  • Includes $677.7M for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant, which provides a flexible source of funding that allows States to target their most urgent maternal and child health needs.
    • H.R. 2740 includes $705M ($27.3M more than Senate)
  • Includes $122.4M for the Healthy Start program, which works to reduce infant mortality and generally improve maternal and infant health in at-risk communities, including through breastfeeding support.
  • Continues $4M for the National Early Child Care Collaboratives Program to support implementation of healthy eating and physical activity best practices, including breastfeeding.
  • Includes $10B for the Head Start program, which provides grants directly to local organizations to provide comprehensive early childhood education services to children and their families, from before birth to age 5. The bill also continues $805M for Early Head Start Expansion and Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships grants. Early Head Start program performance standards include breastfeeding support.
  • Includes $1.3B for the Unaccompanied Alien* Children (UAC) program. The UAC program provides temporary shelter and basic services to children who have no lawful immigration status in the United States and who have been apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) without a parent or a guardian.
  • Includes $230M for the Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, a $1M increase from FY2019 levels. The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcement of the Break Time for Nursing Mothers law.


Background on Federal Budget Process:

Each federal budget is developed for what is called a Fiscal Year, which begins on October 1 and runs through September 30 of the following year. Developing a federal budget begins with the President submitting a budget plan. The President's budget reflects the vision, values, and priorities of the Administration and sets the stage for the federal budget negotiation process.

Congress then develops its budget plan, called the budget resolution, to set a total amount for spending in the year ahead. The budget total is sent to the House and Senate appropriations committees, where it is divided among 12 subcommittees each charged with developing an appropriations bill. Appropriations Committees hold "mark-ups" for each of the 12 annual spending bills.

Once these bills pass both Houses, they must be "conferenced" to work out any differences between the two versions. House-Senate conference committees make final determinations and prepare a Conference Report. The Conference Report is then passed by the House and the Senate and sent to the President to be signed.

Learn more about the federal budget process.

*The USBC does not condone the use of the word "alien" to describe people immigrating to the US. This word is included solely because it was in the federal budget.

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