Making appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes.

11/7/2007--Senate receded and concurred with amendment.    (There are 4 other summaries)

Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and related agencies for FY2008.

Title I: Department of Labor - Department of Labor Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to the Department of Labor for: (1) the Employment and Training Administration, including training and employment services; (2) community service employment for older Americans; (3) federal unemployment benefits and allowances; (4) state unemployment insurance and employment service operations; (5) advances to the Unemployment Trust Fund and the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund; (6) employment and training program administration; (7) the Employee Benefits Security Administration; (8) the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC); (9) the Employment Standards Administration; (10) certain special benefits, including benefits for disabled coal miners; (11) the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Fund; (12) the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund; (13) the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA); (14) the Mine Safety and Health Administration; (15) the Bureau of Labor Statistics; (16) the Office of Disability Employment Policy; (17) departmental management; (18) the Office of Jobs Corps; (19) veterans employment and training; and (20) the Office of Inspector General. Sets forth authorized uses of, and limitations on, funds and transfers of funds appropriated under this title.

(Sec. 101) Prohibits use of Job Corps funds under this title to pay individual compensation at a rate in excess of Executive Level I.

(Sec. 102) Allows not more than 1% of discretionary funds for the current fiscal year for the Department of Labor in this Act to be transferred between a program, project, or activity. Prohibits any increase of any such program, project, or activity by more than 3% by any such transfer.

(Sec. 103) Prohibits funds under this Act from being obligated or expended to procure goods mined, produced, manufactured, or harvested or services rendered, in whole or in part, by forced or indentured child labor in industries and host countries already identified by the Department of Labor prior to enactment of this Act, in accordance with a specified executive order.

(Sec. 104) Directs the Secretary of Labor, after September 30, 2007, to issue a monthly transit subsidy to Department of Labor employees in the National Capital Region in an amount of not less than $110.

(Sec. 105) Prohibits funds appropriated in this title from being obligated for demonstration and pilot (including dislocated worker demonstration and pilot), multiservice, research, and multistate projects under the Workforce Investment Act prior to the Secretary of Labor's submission to Congress of a plan detailing the uses of such funds.

(Sec. 106) Authorizes appropriations to the Denali Commission to conduct job training of the local workforce where Denali Commission projects will be constructed.

(Sec. 107) Requires, with a specified exception, that funds made available to the Department of Labor for grants under the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act of 1998 be used only for the training of foreign workers in the occupations and industries for which such workers were hired under the H-1B visa program.

(Sec. 108) Specifies certain job training grants to be awarded competitively.

(Sec. 110) Prohibits funds made available in this or any other Act from being used to finalize or implement regulations under the Workforce Investment Act of 1998, the Wagner-Peyser Act of 1933, or the Trade Adjustment Assistance Reform Act of 2002, until legislation reauthorizing the Workforce Investment Act or the Trade Adjustment Act is enacted.

(Sec. 111) Requires: (1) on or before November 30, 2007, the Secretary of Labor to issue a final standard on employer payment for personal protective equipment (PPE) under the Occupational Safety and Health Act that is no less protective than the proposed rule published in the Federal Register on March 31, 1999, regarding employer payment for PPE; and (2) the proposed rule to become effective if the final standard is not issued by November 30, 2007.

(Sec. 112) Prohibits funds appropriated in this title from being used to carry out competitive sourcing activities at the Department of Labor under OMB Circular A-76 until 60 days after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports to Congress on the use of competitive sourcing at the Department of Labor.

(Sec. 113) Requires the Secretary of Labor to: (1) revise, not later than June 20, 2008, regulations related to the usage of belt haulage entries in underground coal mines to require that such entries not be used to ventilate active working places of underground coal mines without prior approval from the Assistant Secretary of Labor; and (2) propose, not later than June 15, 2008, regulations requiringrescue chambers, or facilities that afford at least the same measure of protection, in underground coal mines. Prohibits the approval of mine ventilation plans incorporating the use of air coursed through belt haulage entries to ventilate active working places until such plans have been reviewed and determined to provide at least the same measure of protection where belt haulage entries are not used to ventilate such places.

(Sec. 114) Prohibits recipients of employment and training funds from using such funds to pay the salary and bonuses of an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II, with an exception for specified vendors.

Title II: Department of Health and Human Services - Department of Health and Human Services Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for: (1) the Health Resources and Services Administration; (2) the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); (3) the National Institutes of Health (NIH); (4) the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration; (5) the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; (6) the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; (7) the Administration for Children and Families; (8) the Administration on Aging; and (9) the Office of the Secretary.

(Sec. 210) Prohibits the use of funds for voluntary family planning projects unless the applicant certifies that it encourages family participation in the decision of minors to seek family planning services and that it provides counseling to minors on how to resist attempts to coerce minors into engaging in sexual activities.

(Sec. 211) Prohibits any provider of voluntary planning services under the Public Health Service Act from being exempt from any state law requiring notifications or the reporting of child abuse, child molestation, sexual abuse, rape, or incest.

(Sec. 212) Prohibits the use of funds to carry out the Medicare Advantage program if the Secretary of Health and Human Services denies participation in such program to an otherwise eligible entity because it will not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or provide referrals for abortions.

(Sec. 213) Prohibits the use of funds to withhold substance abuse funding from a state that fails to enforce state laws prohibiting the sale of tobacco products to individuals under the age of 18 if such state certifies to the Secretary that it will commit additional funds to ensure compliance with such laws. Sets forth requirements for states that miss the retailer compliance rate goal established by the Secretary.

(Sec. 214) Allows the Secretary to exercise certain authority in order to carry out international health activities during FY2008.

(Sec. 219) Authorizes the Secretary to award a grant to the Delta Health Alliance, a nonprofit alliance of academic institutions in the Mississippi Delta region that has as its primary purposes addressing longstanding, unmet health needs and catalyzing economic development in the Mississippi Delta.

(Sec. 221) Prohibits the Secretary from using funds for the administration of any influenza vaccine containing thimerosal as a preservative to any child under three years of age, unless the Secretary finds that there is an inadequate supply of thimerosal-free influenza vaccines or provides a justification for using such a vaccine based on the public health situation.

(Sec. 223) Prohibits the use of funds for the CDC Ombudsman Program.

(Sec. 224) Establishes in the Treasury a nonrecurring expenses fund to be available for capital acquisition necessary for the operation of HHS, including facilities infrastructure and information technology infrastructure, subject to approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Title III: Department of Education - Department of Education Appropriations Act, 2008 - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to the Department of Education for: (1) education for the disadvantaged; (2) impact aid; (3) school improvement programs; (4)Indian education; (5) innovation and improvement activities; (6) safe schools and citizenship education; (7) English language acquisition and language enhancement; (8) special education; (9) rehabilitation services and disability research; (10) special institutions for persons with disabilities, including the American Printing House for the Blind, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf, and Gallaudet University; (11) career, technical, and adult education; (12) certain student financial assistance programs (including rescissions of funds), as well as federal administrative expenses for such programs (setting a maximum individual Pell Grant amount); (13) specified higher education programs; (14) Howard University; (15) the college housing and academic facilities loans program; (16) the historically Black college and university capital financing program account; (17) the Institute of Education Sciences; and (18) departmental management, including program administration, the Office for Civil Rights, andthe Office of the Inspector General.

Sets the maximum individual Pell Grant amount at $4,435 during award year 2008-2009.

Sets forth authorized uses of, and limitations on, funds appropriated under this title.

(Sec. 301) Prohibits the use of funds to transport teachers or students in order to: (1) overcome racial imbalance in any school; or (2) carry out a racial desegregation plan.

(Sec. 302) Prohibits the use of funds to require, directly or indirectly, the transportation of any student to a school other than the school nearest the student's home, except, for a student requiring special education, to the school offering such special education, in order to comply with title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Declares that such a prohibited indirect requirement of transportation of students includes the transportation of students to carry out a plan involving the reorganization of the grade structure of schools, the pairing of schools, or the clustering of schools, or any combination of grade restructuring, pairing or clustering. Exempts the establishment of magnet schools from such prohibition.

(Sec. 303) Prohibits the use of funds to prevent the implementation of programs of voluntary prayer and meditation in public schools.

(Sec. 304) Allows the transfer between appropriations of not more than 1% of discretionary funds for the current fiscal year for the Department of Education in this Act. Prohibits any increase of any such appropriation by more than 3% by any such transfer.

(Sec. 305) Prohibits the use of funds to promulgate, implement, or enforce any revision to the regulations in effect on June 1, 2007, regarding the recognition of accrediting agencies or associations under the Higher Education Act of 1965, until legislation specifically requiring such revision is enacted.

(Sec. 306) Directs the Secretary of Education to implement procedures, within 30 days of this Act's enactment, to assess and disclose whether certain individuals or entities have a potential financial interest in, or bias towards, a product or service purchased with, or guaranteed or insured by, funds administered by the Department of Education or an entity with which the Department has a contract. Includes within such scrutiny, the Department's: (1) officers and employees; (2) contractors and subcontractors, and the individuals they hire; (3) peer review panel members; and (4) consultants and advisors.

Requires the Department's Inspector General to review the implementation and adequacy of such procedures and report to Congress concerning their adequacy.

(Sec. 307) Considers five specified Illinois school districts to be local educational agencies (LEAs) for purposes of the Impact Aid program, which compensates LEAs for the financial burden of federal activities affecting their school districts.

Considers federally connected students in such districts to be attending schools in one such district, North Chicago Community Unit School District 187, for the purpose of making that district eligible for Impact Aid. Conditions such treatment on the agreement of the five school districts to apportion such assistance equitably among all five of them, and to use it only for direct educational services.

(Sec. 308) Prohibits the Secretary of Education from terminating, before 2008, voluntary flexibility agreements that existed on October 1, 2007, with Federal Family Education Loan program guaranty agencies under the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA). Requires the Secretary, before April 2008, to renegotiate terminated agreements that are not cost neutral, provided guaranty agencies want to enter into cost neutral agreements.

(Sec. 309) Prohibits the Secretary of Education from determining that a nonprofit educational institution does not qualify as an institution of higher education under the HEA due to its status as a subsidiary of an entity that filed a bankruptcy petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York on February 21, 2001.

Title IV: Related Agencies - Makes appropriations for FY2008 to: (1) the Committee for Purchase From People Who Are Blind or Severely Disabled; (2) the Corporation for National and Community Service, for domestic volunteer service programs and the Office of Inspector General; (3) the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; (4) the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; (5) the Federal Mine Safety and Health Review Commission; (6) the Institute of Museum and Library Services; (7) the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; (8) the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science; (9) the National Council on Disability; (10) the National Labor Relations Board; (11) the National Mediation Board; (12) the Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission; (13) the Railroad Retirement Board, including its Office of Inspector General; and (14) the Social Security Administration, including payments to the Social Security trust funds, the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Program, and theOffice of Inspector General.

(Sec. 401) Defines "qualified student loan," with respect to national service education awards, as any loan determined by an institution of higher education to be necessary to cover a student's cost of attendance at such institution and made, insured, or guaranteed directly to a student by a state agency, in addition to other meanings under the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (the Act through out this title).

(Sec. 402) Allows funds made available under such Act to assist entities in placing applicants with disabilities to be provided to any entity that receives a grant under it.

(Sec. 403) Requires the Inspector General (IG) of the Corporation for National and Community Service to: (1) conduct random audits of the grantees that administer activities under the AmeriCorps programs; (2) levy sanctions in accordance with standard IG audit resolution procedures; and (3) obtain reimbursements in the amount of any misused funds from any grantee that has been determined to have committed any substantial violation of the requirements of such programs.

(Sec. 404) Requires the Corporation for National and Community Service to make any significant changes to program requirements, service delivery, or policy only through public notice and comment rulemaking.

Prohibits, for FY2008 and during any grant selection process, an officer or employee of the Corporation from knowingly disclosing any covered grant selection information regarding such selection, directly or indirectly, to any person other than an authorized officer or employee of the Corporation.

(Sec. 405) Allows Professional Corps programs that recruit and place qualified participants in certain educational, health, and other professional positions to apply for waiver of the requirement that any such program desiring to provide living allowances in excess of the authorized maximum submit an allowance application to the Corporation on a competitive basis.

(Sec. 406) Authorizes the Corporation to solicit and accept the services of organizations and individuals (other than participants) to assist in carrying out its duties under the national service laws.

Subjects an individual who provides such services to the same protections and limitations as volunteers under the Act.

(Sec. 407) Requires organizations operating projects under the AmeriCorps Education Awards Program to do so without regard to certain requirements relating to: (1) the 5% limitation on administrative costs; (2) matching funds; (3) living allowances and other inservice benefits; (4) ineligible service categories; (5) living allowances; (6) health insurance; and (7) child care.

(Sec. 408) Requires AmeriCorps programs receiving grants under the National Service Trust program to meet an overall minimum share requirement of 24% for the first three years that they receive AmeriCorps funding, and thereafter to meet the overall minimum share requirement of specified regulations, without regardto the operating costs match requirement or the member support federal share limitations in the Act.

Title V: General Provisions - Specifies certain uses and limits on or prohibitions against the use of funds appropriated by this Act.

(Sec. 501) Authorizes the Secretaries of Labor, of Health and Human Services, and of Education to transfer unexpended balances of prior appropriations to accounts corresponding to current appropriations provided in this Act, to be used for the same purpose, and for the same periods of time, for which they were originally appropriated.

(Sec. 505) Bars use of funds to carry out any program of distributing sterile needles or syringes for the hypodermic injection of any illegal drug.

(Sec. 507) Prohibits the expenditure of funds appropriated in this Act, and in any trust fund to which funds are appropriated in this Act, for: (1) any abortion; or (2) health benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion.

(Sec. 508) Declares that suchprohibition does not apply: (1) if the pregnancy is the result of an act of rape or incest; or (2) in the case where a woman suffers from a physical disorder, physical injury, or physical illness, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, that would, as certified by a physician, place the woman in danger of death unless an abortion is performed.

Declares that nothing in Sec. 507 shall be construed as: (1) prohibiting the expenditure by a state, locality, entity, or private person of state, local, or private funds (other than Medicaid matching funds); or (2) restricting the ability of any managed care provider from offering abortion coverage or the ability of a state or locality to contract separately with such a provider for such coverage with state funds (other than Medicaid matching funds).

Bars the availability of funds to a federal agency or program, or to a state or local government, if it subjects any institutional or individual healthcare entity to discrimination on the basis that the health care entity does not provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.

(Sec. 509) Prohibits the use of funds made available in this Act for: (1) the creation of a human embryo or embryos for research purposes; or (2) research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero under certain federal regulations and the Public Health Service Act.

(Sec. 510) Bars the use of funds for activities promoting the legalization of any drug or other substance included in schedule I of the schedules of controlled substances under the Controlled Substances Act, except for normal and recognized executive-congressional communications.

Makes such limitation inapplicable when there is significant medical evidence of a therapeutic advantage to the use of such drug or other substance or that federally sponsored clinical trials are being conducted to determine therapeutic advantage.

(Sec. 511) Bars the use of funds to promulgate or adopt any final standard under the Social Security Act providing for, or providing for the assignment of, a unique health identifier for an individual (except in an individual's capacity as an employer or a health care provider), until legislation is enacted specifically approving the standard.

(Sec. 512) Bars the obligation or expenditure of funds to enter into or renew a contract with an entity if: (1) it is otherwise a contractor with the United States and is subject to the requirement regarding submission of an annual report to the Secretary of Labor concerning employment of certain veterans; and (2) it has not submitted the required report for the most recent applicable year.

(Sec. 513) Prohibits the transfer of funds made available in this Act to any federal department, agency, or instrumentality, except pursuant to an appropriation Act.

(Sec. 514) Prohibits theavailability of certain funds designated to carry out the Library Services and Technology Act from being made available to certain libraries covered by such Act, as amended by the Children's Internet Protection Act, unless such libraries have made the required certifications of such Act.

(Sec. 515) Prohibits the availability of certain funds designated to carry out part D of title II of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 from being made available to certain elementary or secondary schools covered by such Act, as amended by the Children's Internet Protection Act and the No Child Left Behind Act, unless the local educational agency (LEA) with responsibility for such covered school has made the required certifications.

(Sec. 517) Prohibits the use of funds to: (1) request that a candidate for appointment to a federal scientific advisory committee disclose his or her political affiliation or voting history or the position he or she holds with respect to political issues not directly related to and necessary for the work of the committee involved; or (2) disseminate scientific information that is deliberately false or misleading.

(Sec. 518) Requires each department and related agency funded through this Act, within 45 days of enactment of this Act, to submit an operating plan that details at the program, project, and activity level any funding allocations for FY2008 that are different than those specified in this Act, the accompanying detailed table in the committee report, or the FY2008 budget request.

(Sec. 519) Prohibits the use of funds made available by this Act to carry out the evaluation of the Upward Bound program described in the absolute priority for Upward Bound Program participant selection and evaluation published by the Department of Education (DOE) in the Federal Register on September 22, 2006.

(Sec. 520) Prohibits the use of funds in this Act to employ unauthorized aliens as defined in the Immigration and Nationality Act.

(Sec. 521) Requiresthe Secretaries of Labor, of Health and Human Services, and of Education each to report to the congressional appropriations committees on the number, amount, and other specified details of contracts, non-formula grants, and cooperative agreements exceeding $100,000 in value and awarded by the Department on a noncompetitive basis during each quarter of FY2008.

(Sec. 522) Requires the departments, agencies, and commissions funded under this Act to establish and maintain on the homepages of their Internet websites: (1) a direct link to the Internet websites of their Offices of Inspectors General; and (2) a website mechanism by which individuals may anonymously report cases of waste, fraud, or abuse.

(Sec. 523) Prohibits the use of funds under this Act to enter into a contract in an amount greater than $5 million, or to award a grant in excess of such amount, unless the prospective contractor or grantee certifies in writing to the awarding agency that, to the best of its knowledge and belief, it: (1) has filed all federal tax returns required during the three years preceding the certification; (2) has not been convicted of a criminal offense under the Internal Revenue Code; and (3) has not, more than 90 days before certification, been notified of any unpaid federal tax assessment for which the liability remains unsatisfied, unless the assessment is the subject of an installment agreement or offer in compromise approved by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and not in default, or the assessment is the subject of a non-frivolous administrative or judicial proceeding.

(Sec. 524) Amends title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act, as amended by the Abstinence Education, and QI Programs Extension Act of 2007, to reduce funding for the Medicare Physician Assistance and Quality Initiative Fund. Limits expenditures from the Fund in FY2008 to $650 million.

(Sec. 525) Makes Iraqi and Afghan aliens granted special immigrant status under the Immigration and Nationality Act eligible for resettlement assistance, entitlement programs, and other refugee benefits for a maximum six-month period.

(Sec. 526) Bars the use of funds by the Commissioner of the SSA to pay the compensation of SSA employees to administer Social Security benefit payments, under any agreement between the United States and Mexico establishing totalization arrangements between the social security system established by title II (Federal Old-age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance Benefits) (OASDI) of the Social Security Act and the social security system of Mexico, which would not otherwise be payable but for such agreement.

(Sec. 527) Prohibits the expenditure or obligation of funds by the Commissioner to process claims for credit for quarters of Social Security coverage based on work performed under a Social Security account number that was not the claimant's number.

View comments | (Close Window)