US Washington Capitol

Appropriations LHHS Subcommittee Holds Hearing with HHS Secretary

Apr 15, 2021 | Cameron Etessami

On April 15, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (LHHS) held a hearing with newly confirmed Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra on the department’s preliminary FY2022 budget request released on April 9.

Secretary Xavier Becerra testified before the subcommittee to testify and answer questions on the President’s discretionary budget request for HHS, and what it entails for the future of public health in the United States.

Secretary Becerra began his opening statement by noting that “HHS is at the center of many challenges facing our country today—the COVID-19 pandemic, unaccompanied migrant children, the opioid and substance use crisis, gun violence, and more— and we are rising to meet those challenges.” Secretary Becerra added that the pandemic shed an enormous light on the health inequities that have persisted throughout our nation for decades, marking the importance for sustained Federal funding to public health to reduce these inequities. NACCHO has been a strong advocate for increased and sustained investments for public health to overcome the years of boom-and-bust cycles of Federal funding.

Secretary Becerra outlined some of the budget’s provisions, including: $131.7 billion in discretionary spending for HHS, an increase of $25 billion from FY2021 appropriations; $6.5 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H); and $10.7 billion dollars to address the opioid crisis.

Mr. Becerra also stated that the budget request outlines $8.7 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an increase of $1.6 billion from the FY2021 appropriation. Becerra noted that increased funding to CDC is integral to mitigating current and future threats to population health. NACCHO has been speaking with members of Congress and their staff, advocating for increased funding to the CDC in FY2022.

During his testimony, Secretary Becerra also highlighted the importance of recognizing gun violence as a public health crisis, noting that the budget request allocates $100 million for a new CDC program, Community-Based Violence Intervention initiative, in conjunction with the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The budget also outlines $905 million for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), $200 million above the FY2021 appropriations. Secretary Becerra testified that the SNS served an integral role throughout the pandemic, providing medical supplies and personal protective equipment for states, cities and territories throughout the country.

In his closing statement, Secretary Becerra praised the President’s budget request for HHS, stating that “to build back a prosperous America, we need a healthy America.”

During the question-and-answer session, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle praised Secretary Becerra, and were delighted by his appointment to HHS. However, an overwhelming number of members on the subcommittee raised concerns about the surge of migrants, particularly unaccompanied minors, at the border. Secretary Becerra noted that he will work to break down “bureaucratic barriers” with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to make sure that “our principal interest is the well-being” of the children.

Mr. Becerra fielded questions regarding refugee resettlements; the rising opioid crisis; the current state of the pandemic; sponsors for migrant children; mental health; rule-making processes; and racial health inequities. The President’s comprehensive budget request is expected to be released in the coming months.


UNADJUSTEDNONRAW thumb 1138

About Cameron Etessami

Government Affairs Intern

More posts by Cameron Etessami

Related Posts

Capitol Dome with Mic typeface display V3
  • Podcast

Podcast from Washington: Authors of Broke in America:...

Ian Goldstein speaks with the authors of Broke in America: Seeing,...

Sep 24, 2021 | Ian Goldstein

Podcast from Washington: Authors of Broke in America:...

Capitol Dome with Mic typeface display V3
  • Podcast

Podcast from Washington: Equitable Approaches to...

Ian Goldstein speaks with Ethan Johnson, Communications and Performance...

Sep 24, 2021 | Ian Goldstein

Podcast from Washington: Equitable Approaches to...

Capitol Building
  • Press Release

NACCHO Podcast Series: Equitable Approaches to...

In this week’s episode of Podcast from Washington, NACCHO government affairs...

Sep 15, 2021 | Theresa Spinner

NACCHO Podcast Series: Equitable Approaches to...

US Washington Capitol At Night

Senate Passes FY 2022 Budget Resolution

This week, the Senate adopted a budget resolution that sets in motion the...

Aug 13, 2021 | Jackie Weinrich

Senate Passes FY 2022 Budget Resolution

Capitol Building

House Proposes Investment of $1 Billion in Public Health...

A notable addition to the bill includes a new $1 billion funding stream...

Aug 13, 2021 | Silvio Renna

House Proposes Investment of $1 Billion in Public Health...

Us Capitol Dome With Flag Color

Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Rebuilding Public...

On Tuesday, July 27, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and...

Jul 30, 2021 | Jackie Weinrich

Senate HELP Committee Holds Hearing on Rebuilding Public...

Handshake 2009195 640

White House, Bipartisan Congress Group Reaches Deal on...

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group in Congress and the Biden administration came...

Jul 30, 2021 | Silvio Renna

White House, Bipartisan Congress Group Reaches Deal on...

Capitol Close Up Dome

Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill Makes Its Way Through House

Last week, House appropriators made significant progress on the Labor, Health...

Jul 23, 2021 | Jackie Weinrich

Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill Makes Its Way Through House

White House

GAO Report Urges Improvements on Testing, Vaccination,...

On Monday, July 19, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a nearly...

Jul 23, 2021 | Silvio Renna

GAO Report Urges Improvements on Testing, Vaccination,...

Back to Top