House subcommittee approves bill cutting OSHA, MSHA, NIOSH funding

U.S. CapitolThe House Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee met July 7 to mark up the text of a draft bill released by the House Appropriations Committee for FY 2017. According to a report from Safety + Health, the bill’s proposed Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) budget of $534.4 million would be approximately 3.3 percent less than FY 2016 and much less than $595 million requested by President Obama.

Cuts are also proposed for the Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Heath (NIOSH). The bill allots $350.5 million for MSHA, which is $25.4 million (6.8 percent) below its 2016 level; and NIOSH’s research efforts should receive $329.1 million, which is $10 million less than its 2016 funding.

“This is the 12th and final Appropriations bill to be considered by the Committee this year. It follows the responsible lead of the legislation before it—investing in proven, effective programs, rolling back over-regulation and overreach by the Administration that kills American jobs, and cutting spending to save hard-earned taxpayer dollars,” House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) said in a press release.

However, there are small spending boosts in the draft bill for the two judicial panels that oversee OSHA and MSHA appeals from employers, Bloomberg BNA reports. The Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission would receive $13 million for fiscal 2017—about $400,000 more than its fiscal 2016 budget and $400,000 less than the Senate’s proposal; and the Mine Safety and Health Review Commission would receive $17.9 million â€“ up from $17.1 million for fiscal 2016.

Subcommittee ranking member Rose DeLauro (D-CT) criticized the cuts during the markup hearing. â€śWhile there are some increases in the bill, which I strongly support, they come at the expense of many priorities that are already underfunded,” she said.

At press time, the bill was not yet scheduled to go before the full House.