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Background on Changes to the Senate Version of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan

February 10, 2009

On February 9, the Senate approved a Substitute Amendment from Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Ben Nelson (D-NE) for the Senate version of the Economic Recovery Bill.  The Senate also voted to end the debate on the bill with a vote of 61 to 37.  The Senate is expected to vote today on the Substitute Amendment.  A conference between the House and Senate will be held once the Senate has passed their version of the Economic Recovery Bill to work out the differences between the two bills.  President Obama has indicated his desire to have the Economic Stimulus bill on his desk by President’s Day on the 16th and is encouraging quick action by legislators.

The Senate Substitute Amendment decreases the cost of the previous Senate Economic Recovery Bill by $100 billion to $829 billion.  The Senate total also includes a $70 billion dollar patch to the Alternative Minimum Tax, which is not included in the House version.  The Senate substitute amendment decreases the discretionary funding of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by $2.3 billion making the current funding for the HHS in the Senate legislation $20.8 billion.  The amendment affects seven HHS programs that were funded in the House version of the Economic Recovery Bill.

Decreases:

  • HHS-wide Prevention and Wellness Funding:  Senate bill includes no funding, which is a reduction of -$5.8 billion from the original Senate bill.  The House bill includes $3 billion.
  • Health Information Technology (HIT): Senate bill includes $3 billion, which is a reduction of -$2 billion from the $5 billion in the original Senate bill. The House bill includes $2 billion. 
  • Administration for Children and Families (ACF):  Senate bill includes $1.05 billion for Head Start ($550M of which is for Early Head Start), which is a reduction of -$1.05 billion from the $2.1 billion in the original Senate bill.  The House bill includes $2.1 billion.
    Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF):  Senate bill includes no funding, which is a reduction of -$870 million for Pandemic Influenza from the original Senate bill.   The House bill includes $420 million for Pandemic Influenza, $430 million for Advanced Development, and $50 million for Cyber Security.
  • HUD 202 and 811 Supportive Housing:  $1.25 billion cut from the $2.5 billion in funding for retrofitting and upgrading of existing supportive housing developments with green technologies.

Increases:

  • National Institutes of Health (NIH):  Senate bill includes $10 billion to NIH over two years, which is an increase of +$6.5 billion from the $3.5 billion in the original Senate bill.  The House bill includes $3.5 billion.
  • Health Centers Construction:  Senate bill includes $1.9 billion, which is an increase of +$870 million from the $1 billion in the original Senate bill.  The House bill includes $1 billion.
  • Office of the Inspector General (OIG):  Senate bill includes $19 million, which is an increase of +$15 million from the $4 million in the original Senate bill.  The House bill provides $19 million.

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