Appropriations Update: Plight of GPE & Other Health Professions Programs (HPNEC News) October 2007
On Tuesday, October 23, the Senate passed its FY 2008 Labor-HHS-Education appropriations bill (H.R. 3043) by a veto-proof margin of 75-19, with five Democrats not present to vote. Prior to final passage of the bill, the Senate rejected (40-54) a Republican amendment to recommit the bill to the Appropriations Committee to be revised to provide no more than $140.9 billion in discretionary funding.
The Senate bill includes $189.7 million for Title VII (a 2.7 percent increase), compared to $228.3 million (a 23.6 percent increase) in the House.
Democratic staff in both the House and Senate report that November 1 is the target date for holding the House-Senate conference, with the conference report going to the House and Senate floors the week of November 5. Staff report the subcommittee allocation will split the difference between the House and the Senate. The Senate bill is $1.9 billion less than the version of the bill passed by the House on July 18. The President has indicated that he will veto both versions of the bill because they exceed his budget request.
No decision has been made on whether the Labor-HHS bill will be the first FY2008 spending bill sent to the President. House and Senate leaders are considering a plan to send the Labor-HHS and Military Construction-VA (H.R. 2642) bills in a package to President Bush by Veterans' Day, but that no decision has been made. Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) told advocates earlier this month that the Labor-HHS bill would likely be the first spending bill sent to the White House.