June 29, 2015 — The Senate Appropriations Committee in a markup Thursday voted 16-14 to report a fiscal year 2016 budget proposal after rejecting an amendment that would have compensated for proposed funding cuts to the Title X family planning program, CQ HealthBeat reports.
The underlying bill is the FY 2016 Labor-HHS-Education bill, which would cut spending from the FY 2015 level by about $4 billion to $153 billion. According to CQ HealthBeat, the House proposal allocates about the same amount (Young, CQ HealthBeat News, 6/25).
Background on House, Senate Title X Funding Cuts
The House and Senate budget proposals would decrease or terminate funding for Title X. The program, which mostly serves low-income people, funds clinics that provide services for family planning and preventive care, as well as testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections.
Specifically, the Senate's proposed budget would cut $28.7 million in funding for Title X, reducing overall funding for the program to $257.8 million. Meanwhile, a budget proposed by House lawmakers would eliminate all funding for the Title X family planning program. The legislation also would increase funding for abstinence-only education while cutting almost $100 million from sexuality education programs that are part of an initiative designed to help prevent teenage pregnancy (Women's Health Policy Report, 6/24).
During the markup, the Senate committee rejected an amendment, proposed by Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), that would have provided alternate funding to compensate for budget's proposed cuts to the Title X program.
Specifically, the measure would have allocated $28 million from an administrative fund for HHS to the Title X program (CQ HealthBeat, 6/25).