Sep 28 2018

President Signs Blunt-Led Bill to Support Medical Research, Fight the Opioid Epidemic, Strengthen the Workforce & More

Blunt: “This Bill…Will Improve the Quality of Life for Every American”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, today announced that the FY2019 Labor/HHS funding bill has been signed into law. The House-Senate Labor/HHS conference agreement passed the Senate last week by a vote of 93-7.

“This bill funds a wide range of programs that will improve the quality of life for every American,” said Blunt. “With the fourth consecutive increase for medical research, this bill paves the way for medical breakthroughs that will lower health care costs and save lives. Increased funding for opioid-related programs will provide states additional resources to expand prevention, treatment and recovery services. Investments in education and workforce training will make sure every student has the knowledge and skills to succeed in a 21st Century economy. Taken together, all of these priorities will strengthen communities, expand opportunity, and enhance U.S. competitiveness.

“This bill came together through the regular order process, which gave every senator an opportunity to help determine what priorities should and should not be included. Taxpayers work hard for every dollar they send to Washington and we have to be sure we’re directing resources toward programs that are needed, that are working, and that have the most benefit for the most people. This bill continues efforts to crack down on waste, fraud, and abuse, which will save taxpayers billions over the next decade. I thank all of my colleagues for their work to get this bill to the president’s desk, and President Trump for signing it into law.”

This is the first time in 22 years that the Labor/HHS funding bill has been signed prior to the end of the fiscal year. The legislation includes a $2 billion increase for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), marking an overall increase of $9 billion for NIH under Blunt’s chairmanship. The NIH funding includes a $425 million increase for Alzheimer’s disease research, surpassing, for the first time, the goal set forth in the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s disease. According to United for Medical Research, in 2017, Missouri received $537.5 million in NIH grant funding, supporting 7,569 jobs and $1.305 billion in economic activity.

The bill provides a total of $3.8 billion for health-related opioid programs, including a $1.5 billion increase in flexible funding for states to support programs that best fit their needs. Blunt recently announced that Missouri will receive another $18 million in state opioid response grant funding, in addition to the $10 million received earlier this year and in 2017.

The bill continues year-round Pell, which Blunt restored in the FY2017 bill, and, for a second year in a row, increases the maximum Pell Grant award. The bill also invests in workforce training programs, with resources targeted toward veterans and rural communities.

Here Are Additional Details on the Programs Funded in the Labor/HHS Bill: