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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2518 - Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1994

June 30, 1993


(House Floor)
(Sponsor: Natcher (D), Kentucky)

This Statement of Administration Policy expresses the Administration's views on H.R. 2518, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, FY 1994, as reported by the House Appropriations Committee. The Administration supports House passage of H.R. 2518; however, it will work with Congress to address the concerns described below.

President's Investment Program

The Administration supports the Committee's funding of high-priority investment proposals within the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education. The Administration is pleased that the Committee has fully funded most of the President's investment proposals for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and has provided a large increase in funding for programs authorized under the Ryan White CARE Act. We are also pleased that the Committee has provided critical resources for the Social Security Administration's administrative expenses. The Administration appreciates the Committee's efforts to provide some funding for higher priority investment proposals within the Department of Education even though authorizing legislation has not yet been enacted. We also support the Committee's action on campus-based assistance for college students.

While the Administration recognizes that the Committee faced stringent constraints in developing its funding recommendations for the bill, we believe that childhood immunization, Head Start, Jobs Corps, School-to-Work and, especially, Goals 2000 are high-priority programs that merit additional funding. The Administration believes that funding for these and other high-priority investments could be achieved if the House were to realign its priorities for the bill to be more consistent with the President's requests and were to adopt the additional savings proposals outlined in the President's budget.

The President has requested $400 million in discretionary funding within the Health Care Financing Administration's Program management account for temporary assistance to States with disproportionately high numbers of undocumented migrants who need medical care. The bill does not fund this investment program. However, approximately $300 million in mandatory spending was included in the Energy and Commerce portion of the House-passed Reconciliation bill for this purpose. The Senate-passed Reconciliation bill includes no funds for this purpose. Should funding for this priority investment activity not be included in the final Reconciliation bill, the Administration would urge the Congress to restore funding for this proposal within the discretionary spending caps.

Funding Mechanisms for Appropriated Entitlement Programs

The Administration shares the Committee's concerns about controlling the rapid growth of entitlement programs. However, we believe that changing the funding mechanisms for these programs in the way that the Committee has proposed would be problematic. In the past, funding for the major appropriated entitlement programs included in this bill (i.e., Medicaid, Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Supplemental Security Income, and Black Lung benefits) was provided throughout the year, without the need for additional legislation. The Committee bill would remove both the open-ended appropriations for benefits covering the fourth quarter of the current fiscal year and the advance appropriations for the first quarter of the succeeding fiscal year.

Under the Committee's proposal, should requirements for these appropriated entitlements change throughout the year — as they often do because of changing economic conditions or the inherent difficulty of estimating program costs — additional legislation would be required to ensure that the assistance needs of the poor would be met. The Administration strongly opposes this provision of the bill and urges the House to retain the current funding arrangements.

Funding for Abortions

The Committee bill allows the use of Federal funds to pay for abortions for eligible low-income recipients in cases where the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest or the life of the mother would be endangered by the pregnancy. The Administration is committed to working with the Congress on this issue.

William J. Clinton, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 2518 - Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, 1994 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project