House targets HHS for 18.7% cut after sequestration

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If House Republicans get their way, spending targets for appropriations bills for the coming year with Labor, Education and Health and Human Services would see an approximate 18.7% cut across the board on top of the cuts already made in the March 1 sequestration order. Yes, you heard right - close to a 20 percent reduction on top of the cuts made in the sequestration order.

Discretionary spending for the departments of Labor, Education and Health and Human Services would be capped at $121.8 billion — about $28 billion below the "best available estimates for post-sequestration appropriations." For point of comparison, Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) notes that the allocation is "$42 billion — or 26 percent below what was enacted in fiscal 2010."

While the likelihood of the House Labor-HHS proposal gaining traction is slim, it sends an important reminder of the folly of sequestration and Congress's unwillingness to find a permanent fix. The allocations are so extreme in part because the House budget placed all responsibility for sequestration squarely on the shoulders of nondefense discretionary programs.

We will update you as we continue to get more information but think about the impact an 18.7% cut would have on the programs you are involved with.

 Thanks to Emily Holubowich of the Coalition for Health Funding for alerting us to this "painful" update late Thursday night and to Julio Abreu of Mental Health America for the HHS Sequester budget breakdown. Much appreciated!

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