Statement of Administration Policy provides the Administration's views
on the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies
Appropriations Bill, FY 2002, as approved by the House Appropriations
Committee. The Administration appreciates the manner in which the
Congress has worked to consider the FY 2002 appropriations bills.
The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to ensure
that the policy and program content of each of the thirteen appropriations
bills is acceptable to the President and that the bill totals are
within the recently agreed upon aggregate funding level of $686 billion.
number of the agencies and programs funded within this bill may
have modified requirements as a consequence of the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001. The Administration is currently reviewing
these new requirements and anticipates funding them through the
FY 2001 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Recovery from
and Response to Terrorist Attacks on the United States.
Administration appreciates the Committee's efforts to fund agencies
and programs contained in this bill consistent with this agreed
upon funding level. Further, the Administration applauds the Committee's
elimination of language for earmarked projects and appreciates its
restraint in providing funding for earmarked projects. The Administration's
views on specific issues are discussed below.
Administration appreciates the Committee's strong support for the
President's elementary and secondary education reform initiatives.
The Committee bill fully funds or exceeds the President's request
levels for Title I Local Educational Agencies Grants, Reading First,
Assessments, Teacher Quality, Transition to Teaching, Character
Education, and Special Education. This funding, which we believe
is contingent upon the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)
reforms that we are working with Congress to enact in the near future,
will enhance accountability and foster improved student achievement.
Outside of the elementary and secondary area, the Administration
is pleased that the Committee has increased funding for Presidential
priorities including Pell grants, Historically Black Colleges and
Universities, Hispanic Serving Institutions, and the New Freedom
Administration is concerned that the bill does not direct a sufficient
share of Education Department funding toward disadvantaged students
through the Title I program. Instead, the bill funds over a dozen
small, narrow-purpose programs that have not been shown to be effective.
The Administration prefers that the House reallocate funds from
these low-priority programs to the Title I program to enable low-performing
schools to meet strict new accountability requirements as outlined
in the pending ESEA reauthorization. This will help to meet the
President's goal of ensuring that no child is trapped in a failing
Administration is disappointed, however, that the Committee has
not provided the President's funding request for the Charter School
Homestead Fund or Impact Aid Construction. These initiatives are
needed to help charter schools overcome infrastructure barriers
that limit school choice, and to ensure the Federal Government meets
its commitment to improve public school facilities for military
dependents and students residing on Indian lands. In addition, the
Administration appreciates that the House has included positive
report language on the Reach Out and Read program, an initiative
to improve early childhood literacy, and hopes to work with the
Congress to provide the $2 million requested in the budget.
of Health and Human Services
Administration is pleased that the Committee has funded the President's
request for activities in the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Administration appreciates the funding provided in support of
the President's health initiatives, including the National Institutes
of Health, Consolidated Health Centers, Drug Abuse Treatment services,
and Global HIV/AIDS activities. The Administration is also pleased
that the Committee has provided an additional $10 million for abstinence
education and looks forward to working with the Congress to increase
funding for this program within the resources available to the Committee.
Administration commends the Committee for taking the first steps
in funding the President's initiatives for children and families
-- most notably the Compassion Capital Fund, to expand or emulate
model charitable programs, and Promoting Safe and Stable Families,
to promote child safety, permanency and well-being. We look forward
to working with the Congress in identifying funds for the President's
Mentoring Children of Prisoners initiative, to support family rebuilding
programs, Education and Vocational Training Vouchers, to help youths
who age out of foster care develop skills to lead independent and
productive lives, and the Maternity Group Homes initiative, which
will provide safe, stable and nurturing environments for teenage
mothers and their children.
Administration also recognizes that the additional funds for AIDS
drug assistance and other Ryan White CARE Act programs will support
additional services and treatment for individuals living with HIV/AIDS.
Administration is also pleased that the Committee has supported
the President's request for the Department of Labor. In particular,
the Administration appreciates the Committee's funding for dislocated
worker assistance, and that the House has included funding for the
Trade Adjustment Assistance and NAFTA Transitional Adjustment Assistance
programs, whose authorizations expired on September 30, 2001. However,
the Administration urges the House to delete the provision that
would provide the appropriations contingent on enactment of legislation
to reauthorize the programs.
Administration appreciates that the House has retained the current
law provision concerning Federal funding for needle exchange programs
and the Hyde language regarding Federal funding of abortions.