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Senate Rejects Harkin Amendment to Senate CR

March 15, 2013—During consideration of its version of the FY 2013 continuing resolution (CR, see related story), the Senate March 14 rejected an amendment by Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee Chair Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) to add the text of the Labor-HHS bill to the measure.  The 54-45 vote failed to reach the 60 votes needed for passage.

The Harkin amendment had the same overall spending total as the CR, but allocated dollars differently. Senator Harkin said his amendment was based on the Labor-HHS agreement the Senate had negotiated with the House in December 2012, but removed additional funding that had been proposed to implement the Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148 and P.L. 111-152) and applied a 0.127 percent across-the-board cut to funding levels in the December agreement. These adjustments to the December agreement were required to align the total funding in the bill with the lower spending cap imposed by the American Taxpayers Relief Act (P.L. 112-240).

The amendment would have provided increases to several areas of interest to medical schools and teaching hospitals, such as an additional $211 million to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and an additional $10 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education program.

Additionally, Senator Harkin’s amendment offered increases for several of the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Title VII health professions programs, including the primary care medicine; mental and behavioral health; workforce information and analysis; and public health and preventive medicine programs. The amendment also continued funding at FY 2012 levels for the Title VII Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), previously proposed for elimination.

The AAMC sent a March 13 letter  urging all senators to support the Harkin amendment.  The letter noted, “The Harkin amendment responsibly prioritizes investments vital to the health of the American people, including medical research supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the health professions training programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA).”

Like the CR, however, the amendment would not have reversed the cuts that will occur in FY 2013 through sequestration.


Dave Moore
Senior Director, Government Relations
Telephone: 202-828-0559

Tannaz Rasouli
Sr. Director, Public Policy & Strategic Outreach
Telephone: 202-828-0525

Alexandra Khalife
Legislative Analyst
Telephone: 202-828-0418


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Washington Highlights, a weekly electronic newsletter, features brief updates on the latest legislative and regulatory activities affecting medical schools and teaching hospitals.

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Jason Kleinman
Sr. Legislative Analyst, Govt. Relations
Telephone: 202-903-0806