House members seek deep budget cuts for OSHA and other safety agencies
Washington — A House appropriations subcommittee has approved a bill that would cut the budgets of OSHA, NIOSH, and the Mine Safety and Health Administration.
The bill proposes that OSHA receive about $536.9 million for fiscal year 2024 (a 15.1% cut), which begins Oct. 1. In its annual budget proposal released March 9, the Biden administration is seeking $738.7 for the agency – an increase of more than $106.3 million from FY 2023.
For MSHA, the House bill would allocate around $325 million – a decrease of nearly $63 million, or about 16.2%. The White House is proposing $437.8 million for the agency.
For NIOSH, the bill would allocate $247.7 million – a 31.8% cut from FY 2023. The White House is seeking to leave the agency’s budget steady at $363 million.
Advanced via a voice vote on July 14 by the Labor, Health and Human Service, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, the bill now goes before a full appropriations committee for markup. No date has been announced for the markup.
The Senate has yet to weigh in with its appropriations bill. If the two bills differ – as expected – both chambers will need to reconcile those differences via conference committee, or Congress may resort to continuing resolutions to avoid a government shutdown.
“This bill represents a clear first step toward returning to fiscal responsibility, while ensuring funding for critical and high-priority functions are maintained,” Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL), chair of the subcommittee, said during the July 14 markup. “I know there will be many disagreements in this room about the direction this bill is taking, both on spending proposals and policy matters.
“I understand that, but I hope those watching today will remember that although we may disagree on specific ways to achieve policy goals, we are all Americans, and we all want what is best for our country and for our people, and I think that’s what we must keep in mind at the end of the day.”
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), ranking member of the subcommittee, said the bill is “shameful – but based on where the majority has taken this entire process, sadly, it is not surprising.
“By working together through this process last Congress, we proudly supported middle-class and working families, helped lift up vulnerable Americans, and prepared our nation for future crises, which makes it all the more disappointing to see where we have ended up in this year’s process.”