Federal agencies

Big budget increases for OSHA and MSHA? House appropriations subcommittee submits draft bill

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Washington — With a new Democratic majority, a House subcommittee is proposing sizable funding boosts for OSHA and the Mine Safety and Health Administration, according to a draft bill released April 29.

The House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee approved the draft bill during a markup the next day.

The budget proposal allocates more than $660.9 million for OSHA in fiscal year 2020 – around $103 million more than the Trump administration’s proposed budget for the agency, released March 11. The administration’s proposal has OSHA slated for $300,000 more than its $557.2 million FY 2019 budget.

The subcommittee also proposes to give nearly $12.7 million to the Susan Harwood Training Grant Program, which the administration is seeking to eliminate for the third consecutive fiscal year. Even with Republicans controlling both chambers the past two fiscal years, Congress hasn’t complied, allocating a little more than $10.5 million to the program in FY 2019.

The Department of Labor wants to “maximize flexibility and use alternative methods to develop and distribute training materials to reach the broadest possible audience” in lieu of the grants, the department’s budget summary states.

Meanwhile, MSHA would receive almost $417.3 million – around $41.3 million more than the administration’s proposal – under the draft bill. The agency had a $373.8 million budget in FY 2019. NIOSH would get a relatively modest $10 million boost over its FY 2019 budget with the House’s proposal of $346.3 million, which is about $156 million more than the administration requested.

 

Overall, the House budget proposal would give $13.3 billion to DOL – around $1.2 billion more than in FY 2019 and $2.4 billion more than the administration’s proposal.

The budget proposal next goes before the full House Appropriations Committee for markup, which, at press time, had not been scheduled.

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