WASHINGTON -- The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved its 2010 spending bill for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, with the panel's leaders hinting that they will find ways to increase funds for the National Institutes of Health and other programs important to colleges.
As the Senate panel expedited its consideration of the massive $163 billion spending bill, postponing consideration of virtually all amendments until the measure hits the Senate floor, Sen. Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican, said he wished the committee had provided more funds for biomedical research at the NIH, and Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, said she was "disappointed with the level of funding for the TRIO program" that helps low-income students prepare for college.
The Senate proposed giving the NIH $30.756 billion, $448 million more than it is receiving this year but $500 million less than the House of Representatives would provide in the parallel bill it passed last week. And the TRIO program, like virtually all higher education programs in the Senate bill, would receive no increase from the Senate, while the House would offer a $20 million boost.
Sen. Tom Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who heads the subcommittee that drafted the bill, reiterated his explanation that the panel had de-emphasized programs that received a big boost in the economic recovery package Congress passed in February, which poured $10 billion in one-time funds into the NIH and even more into Pell Grants for needy students.
But Thursday, Harkin seemed, with a figurative wink and a nod, to suggest that Shelby and Collins should not worry. Senate appropriators allocated less money to health, education and labor programs overall than did their House counterparts, but when lawmakers from the two chambers get together to work out differences between their bills, Harkin said, the House's higher numbers could well win the day. "When we go to conference we hope to be able to fix some of these things," he said.
Supporters of NIH and TRIO won't be the only ones hoping the House holds sway. As seen in the table below, it would provide significantly more money to minority-serving colleges and universities, international education programs, and the Health Resources and Services Administration's health professions training programs, among others.
|Agency/Program||2009 Appropriation||2010 Obama Budget Request||2010 House Passed||2010 Senate Committee Passed|
|Pell Grants (discretionary)||$17,288,000||$17,495,000||$17,783,395||$17,495,000|
|Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants||757,465||757,465||757,465||757,465|
|Perkins Loan cancellations||67,164||0||49,701||0|
|Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships||63,852||63,852||63,852||63,852|
|Academic Competitiveness /SMART Grants||0||0||0||0|
|Strengthening Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities||23,158||24,316||36,021||24,316|
|Strengthening Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions||11,579||12,158||18,010||12,158|
|Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities||238,095||250,000||283,172||250,000|
|Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions||58,500||61,425||61,425||61,425|
|Strengthening Predominantly Black Institutions||n/a||7,875||13,727||7,875|
|Minority Science and Engineering Improvement||8,577||9,006||10,000||9,006|
|Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions||93,256||97,919||136,938||97,919|
|Promoting Postbac Opportunities for Hispanic Americans||n/a||n/a||10,500||n/a|
|Strengthening Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving Institutions||2,500||2,625||4,575||2,625|
|Strengthening Native American-Serving Nontribal Institutions||n/a||2,625||4,575||2,625|
|Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Voc-Tech Institutions||7,773||7,773||8,162||7,773|
|National Technical Institute for the Deaf||64,212||68,437||68,437||68,437|
|HBCU Capital Financing Loans||10,354||20,582||20,582||10,354|
|International education/foreign language||118,881||118,881||128,881||118,881|
|Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education||133,667||47,424||133,916||86,324|
|Model Postsecondary Programs for Students With Intellectual Disabilities||n/a||n/a||n/a||14,000|
|Demonstration Projects to Ensure Access for Students With Disabilities||6,755||6,755||10,755||6,755|
|Teacher Quality Partnerships||50,000||50,000||43,000||48,000|
|Career and adult education|
|Child Care Access Program||16,034||16,034||17,034||16,034|
|Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need||31,030||31,030||31,030||31,030|
|Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program||3,000||3,000||3,000||3,000|
|Other Education Department offices|
|Research and statistics||617,175||689,256||664,256||679,256|
|Office for Civil Rights||96,826||103,024||103,024||103,024|
|Adult job training||861,540||861,540||861,540||861,540|
|Dislocated Worker Assistance||1,183,840||1,183,840||1,183,840||1,183,840|
|DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES|
|National Institutes of Health||30,325,224||30,766,988||31,266,988||30,758,788|
|Health professions programs||392,726||528,098||529,708||460,098|
|Children's Hospitals Graduate Medical Education||310,000||310,000||320,000||315,000|
|CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE|