The House of Representatives passed the appropriations bill for Labor, Health and Education Programs today 264-153, leaving intact the $1.069 billion budget for the Corporation for National and Community Service, despite repeated attempts by Republicans to grab much of the money to fund special education.
Reps. John Kline (R-Minn.) and Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) proposed an amendment to take $1 billion from various programs - including eliminating all of the $169 million increase for CNCS - to fund special education. Though their amendment was rejected by the Rules Committee on technical grounds, Tiahrt tried to force the bill back to committee to include it. That motion was defeated on the floor.
The appropriations bill, the eleventh of 12 to be dealt with for 2010, was approved largely along party lines, with five Democrats voting against it and 20 Republicans voting for it. There were virtually no changes from the committee version, despite the White House's requests that the $90 million reduction in the proposed $1.159 billion allotment for CNCS be restored. Included in the $90 million reduction is a $15 million reduction in the proposed $50 million Social Innovation Fund.
According to the Appropriations Committee report, 2010's increased funding - along with that included in the Recovery Act - will permit an increase to about 89,000 AmeriCorps members from the current level of about 74,000.
Among other actions included in the Labor, Health and Education Programs bill are: the elimination of funding for abstinence only education program, provisions to allow the District of Columbia to operate a needle exchange program (but provides no federal funding), and a $14.5 million reduction in the requested increase for the Department of Labor's YouthBuild program.
The Senate Appropriations Committee will begin considering the bill next week.