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Bradley Praises Passage of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Conference Report

Location: Washington, DC

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Legislation funds rural health, special education, home energy assistance programs

(Washington, D.C.) - First District Congressman Jeb Bradley issued the following statement today after the House of Representatives passed the conference report for the fiscal year 2006 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act. Once the Senate passes the conference report, it will be sent to President Bush for his signature in order to become law:

"Passage of this legislation is necessary to fund important federal priorities while spending $1.4 billion less than last year. This bill sets our nation's priorities, makes tough spending decisions, eliminates unnecessary programs and reforms inefficient ones while directing government assistance to those truly in need. This bill further maintains fiscal restraint by eliminating all congressional projects referred to as "earmarks."

"Although the legislation appropriates less money than last year, it does include an increase in funding for rural health programs, such as community health centers (CHCs). These community-based clinics help to lower health care costs by providing preventative care that reduces the need for uninsured or underinsured patients to receive care at the costly emergency room. With over 81,000 New Hampshire residents utilizing CHCs last year alone, improving the accessibility of these clinics will continue to lower health care costs for Granite Staters.

"This bill also includes $10.7 billion in funding for special education, an increase of $100 million over fiscal year 2005. This is a step forward in having the federal government fully fund special education.

"Lastly, the bill funds the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at $2.2 billion for fiscal year 2006. This amount is $176 million more than what passed in the House version of the bill and matches last year's funding. High energy prices means we need additional funding just to meet last year's purchasing power. While I am pleased with this modest increase for LIHEAP in the appropriations bill, I will continue to work for more funding for this program, which is so important to many New Hampshire families."

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