July 27, 2009
Last Friday, the House voted 264-153 to approve the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill for fiscal year 2010. Included in the House legislation is $73.7 billion in discretionary funding for Department of Health and Human Services programs. Funding would increase by $92 million for nursing programs, $10 million for children’s hospitals’ graduate medical education programs, $43 million for bioterrorism hospital preparedness grants, and $23 million increase for rural health programs. The measure would increase funding for NIH to $31.3 billion, an increase of $941 million over the FY09 level and $500 million above the Administration’s FY10 request. Additionally, through a combination of discretionary and mandatory funding, the bill would enable the maximum Pell Grant to increase to $5,550 in FY10, an increase of $200 over the FY09 level.
In response to criticisms that Grants.gov is an inadequate portal for grants application and reporting, the House included language in the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill that directs the Government Accountability Office to review Grants.gov and “recommend a business model that provides an adequate, reliable funding stream and the appointment of a unified administrative body that is delegated both control and resources” for the online grant application system.
It is expected that the Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations subcommittee will consider an FY 2010 Labor, HHS and Education appropriations bill on Tuesday.