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House Appropriations Committee Passes $197 Billion Fiscal Year 2021 Labor, Health, Human Services and Education Measure

The Bill Includes Funding Increases For Native Hawaiian Programs, Mandated Focus On Health Care Delivery In Non-Contiguous Areas, And Other Priorities Sought By Appropriations Committee Member Case

(Honolulu, HI) – Congressman Ed Case (HI-01) announced today that the House Appropriations Committee has approved $197 billion in funding for federal labor, health, human services and education programs for upcoming Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, including some $100 million-plus in funding for Native Hawaiian-focused programs.

“This measure is the main vehicle for funding the principal federal programs benefiting Native Hawaiians, and this year’s bill improves on existing programs,” said Case, a member of both the Appropriations Committee and of the House Natural Resources Committee and of its Subcommittee on Indigenous Peoples of the United States with jurisdiction over Native Hawaiian programs.

“It also funds new partnerships to focus on health policy and care disparities facing our indigenous peoples which I hope and believe will include the University of Hawai’i.”

Case’s Appropriations Committee is responsible for allocating funding to federal government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis through twelve separate bills. The committee’s FY21 Labor, Health, Human Services, Education and Related Agencies bill passed today funds the U.S. Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Labor. The total funding level is $196.5 billion, an increase of $2.4 billion above the FY 2020 enacted level and $20.8 billion above the President’s 2021 budget request.

Native Hawaiian-related funding requested and secured by Case include:

  • $19M for the Native Hawaiian Health Care program. 
  • $38M for the Native Hawaiian Education program.
  • $19.4M for the Strengthening Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions program.
  • $4.7M for the Strengthening Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander Serving Institutions program.
  • $12.3M for the Native American Caregivers program.
  • $67M for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program.
  • $5M for the Native American/Native Hawaiian Library Services program.
  • $2M for a new Center for Indigenous Innovation and Health Equity consisting of a partnership between the Department of Health and Human Services and two universities to focus on health disparities facing indigenous communities.

Other Case requests incorporated in the measure include two focused on Hawai’i’s chronic difficulty in attracting and retaining health care providers, especially in non-urban areas. The first would require the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ investigative and oversight agency, to conduct a study and report on unique challenges faced by the nation’s non-contiguous areas in recruiting and retaining such health care providers. The second would mandate increased focus on improving primary care, especially in rural and underserved areas to include remote and non-contiguous locations.

The measure also adopted various Case requests for full funding of national programs of special importance to Hawai’i, including:

  • $1.76 billion for Job Corps, the premier career and technical education program for out-of-work and out-of-school youth nationwide, including two Job Corps programs in Hawai’i serving hundreds of Hawai’i youth annually.
  • $1.65 billion for Community Health Centers, including fourteen throughout Hawai’i which are critical to health care delivery to whole segments of Hawaii’s population especially rural, lower income and Native Hawaiian.
  • $10.8 billion for Head Start, which provides the bulk of federal funding to early childhood education and health at various programs throughout Hawai’i.
  • $1.49 billion for the Impact Aid Program, through which the federal government contributes to the cost of public education in areas especially impacted by a federal presence such as Hawai’i.
  • $2.9 billion for Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act State Grants to assist with employment diversification and job retraining.

“This year, as we continue to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, my Appropriations Committee is especially focused on further support for schools severely impacted by this public health emergency and this bill includes $74 billion for education as classes prepare to reopen this Fall,” said Case.

“This bill also continues to fund critical health programs including more than $24 billion targeted for agencies leading the fight against COVID-19: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.