The U.S. Congress House Appropriations Committee dictates much of federal spending. The 12 House Appropriations Subcommittees finalized their FY 2021 spending bills for the full Appropriations Committee to adopt. The Senate has a similar process, meaning the final FY 2021 funding may not be resolved until after the election and that the federal government likely will be operating on Continuing Resolutions this fall.
The 12 bills adopted by the House Appropriations include funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS). Funding levels for each agency are listed with each subcommittee’s markups:
- CDC: The bill funds CDC operations at $17 billion, which includes a total of $8 billion for CDC’s regular appropriation and a $9 billion emergency supplemental appropriation to improve the nation's preparedness for public health emergencies. The bill increases CDC’s budget by $232 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. The FY 2021 enacted level includes $856 million in transfers from the Prevention and Public Health Fund. The committee also provided a $5 million increase for the public health workforce, stating that “the Committee recognizes that a robust and well-trained public health workforce is critical to maintaining a highly effective public health system.”
- ATSDR: The House appropriators increased the ATSDR FY 2021 budget to $79 million.
- FDA: FDA receives a total of $3.212 billion in discretionary funding in their bill, an increase of $40.8 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. Total funding for FDA, including revenue from user fees, is $5.99 billion. Within this total, the Committee provides targeted increases for food safety activities, including new initiatives that support crosscutting activities enhancing food and medical product safety and includes funding to develop a framework for regulating cannabidiol (CBD) products. The bill includes a strong focus on continuing FDA’s efforts to enable faster responses to foodborne illness outbreaks.
- USDA FSIS: The legislation includes $1.088 billion for food safety and inspection programs. These mandatory inspection activities will ensure the safety and productivity of the country’s meat and poultry industry. The funding provided will maintain nearly 8,800 frontline inspection personnel for meat, poultry, and egg products at more than 6,400 facilities across the country.
These bills include $500 million in current and prior year funding for a contribution or grant to an international fund to assist developing nations in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and pursue adaptation and mitigation policies. In addition, the House included a new provision requiring a weekly report on the inventory of ventilators and personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Strategic National Stockpile, as well as an annual professional judgment budget for necessary expenditures to maintain the minimum level of relevant supplies, including in the case of a pandemic.
- CDC: The House included a total of $8 billion for CDC, an increase of $232 million above the FY 2020 enacted level. CDC will receive an additional $9 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to improve the nation’s preparedness for public health emergencies. The bill includes significant investments in our nation’s public health infrastructure including:
- $50 million for the multiyear effort to modernize public health data surveillance and analytics at CDC, state and local health departments, and the National Center for Health Statistics.
- $56 million in public health workforce initiatives.
- $700 million for public health emergency preparedness cooperative agreements.
- $363 million for epidemiologic and laboratory support at state and eligible public health agencies.
- The bill provides increases for CDC for numerous public health efforts including:
- $65 million for food safety.
- $15 million for the health impacts of climate change.
- $10 million for a new effort focused on social determinates of health.
- $10 million to continue the Flint, Michigan. Lead Exposure Registry.
The bill includes $9 billion in emergency supplemental funding to CDC for the following public health and emergency response activities:
- $2 billion for public health emergency preparedness cooperative agreements to increase state and local public health emergency response capabilities.
- $1 billion to improve capabilities at state and local public health laboratories.
- $1 billion to strengthen global public health preparedness and response capacity.
- $400 million for the multiyear effort to modernize public health data surveillance and analytics.
- $200 million for public health workforce development.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The House provided a total of $9.38 billion in for U.S. EPA, an increase of $318 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $2.67 billion above the U.S. president’s budget request. The bill includes:
- $3.58 billion for U.S. EPA’s core science and environmental program work, an increase of $210 million above the FY 2020 enacted level and $822 million above the U.S. president’s budget request. Within these amounts, the bill includes:
- $12.9 million in additional funding for scientific and regulatory work on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) needed to establish drinking water and cleanup standards. This funding builds on the $39 million increase U.S. EPA received in FY 2020.
- $4.36 billion for state and tribal assistance grants, which includes:
- $2.76 billion for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds.
- $189 million for targeted grants for drinking water contaminants and wastewater treatment for lead, nitrates, and other health hazards.
- $90 million for brownfields cleanups, a $1 million increase above the FY 2020 enacted level and $10 million increase above the U.S. president’s budget request.
- $1.22 billion for Superfund.
- $15 million for environmental justice activities.
If you have any questions on the federal FY 2021 budget, contact Doug Farquhar, NEHA director of Government Affairs.
Doug Farquhar is the Director of Government Affairs at the National Environmental Health Association in Denver, Colorado.