Wasserman Schultz: Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Bill is a Victory for South Florida

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Washington, May 9, 2019 | comments
“I was thrilled to help secure funding for so many of the priorities shared with me by my constituents, and make crucial investment in our nation’s future and the wellbeing of all Americans."
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The House Appropriations Committee has passed the Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations bill, increasing discretionary funding by $11.7 billion from the 2019 level and investing in education, health care, medical research, and job training. 

“This bill supports some of our nation’s most critical programs, and secures necessary support for women and families in South Florida,” said Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz. “I was thrilled to help secure funding for so many of the priorities shared with me by my constituents, and make crucial investment in our nation’s future and the wellbeing of all Americans.

“For the first time in more than 20 years, this bill would provide funding for CDC to research gun violence, a public health epidemic that requires urgent attention. The mental health of our nation’s youth receives critical investments in this bill, which provides $170 million in new funds for grants for evidence-based, field-initiated innovations that address student social, emotional, and cognitive needs; as well as funding that supports evidence-based sex education programs such as the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. The bill also invests in lifesaving research for diseases such as HIV/AIDS and prohibits funds from being used to discriminate against same-sex families under our Federal Foster Care Program.

“Hundreds of unaccompanied migrant children are suffering in government detention facilities, and this bill reaffirms that Members of Congress have a right to access those facilities for oversight purposes. But oversight is not enough. We must ensure these young people are being swiftly connected with sponsors. This bill includes language from my Families, Not Facilities Act to prevent needless deportations of sponsors and help move unaccompanied migrant youth more quickly to sponsor households.”

 “As a breast cancer survivor, I’m thrilled the bill helps ensure that young women have access to coverage for lifesaving breast cancer screenings. It includes vital funding for EARLY Act activities, an initiative I passed into law to promote breast cancer awareness for young and at-risk women. We are empowering women across the country who are the backbone of their families by increasing funding for Title X family planning programs. And with this bill we are protecting our youth with support for youth drowning prevention and increased funding to help combat the e-cigarette epidemic."

Wasserman Schultz fought for key funding for major South Florida priorities that were included in the bill, including:

Signature priorities

  • Securing Protecting Access to Lifesaving Screenings Act language to ensure that young women have access to mammograms
  • $4.96 million for EARLY Act activities to promote breast cancer awareness for young and at-risk women
  • $250 million for tobacco use prevention and cessation programs, an increase of $40 million, addressing the e-cigarette epidemic among youth
  • Includes provisions of the Families, Not Facilities Act to help connect sponsors with unaccompanied youth more quickly
  • Reaffirms the right of Members of Congress to conduct oversight and access child detention facilities
  • $170 million in new funds for grants to address student social, emotional, and cognitive needs and support trauma-informed services
  • $2 million to enhance drowning prevention activities at CDC
  • Bars funds from being used for the discrimination of LGBTQ families in the Federal Foster Care Program
  • $5 million for the Holocaust Survivor’s Assistance program, providing supportive services for aging Holocaust survivors living in the U.S
  • $400 million for the Title X Family Planning Program
  • $110 million for the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program
  • $50 million through CDC and NIH to research firearm violence

Health care, prevention, and research funding

  • Eliminates funds for abstinence-only grant programs
  • $6.4 billion for the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
  • $41 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)
  • $1.5 billion for grants to states to address the opioid crisis
  • $43.6 million to address new and existing vector-borne disease threats including Zika
  • Supports CDC in addressing diseases and disorders including psoriasis and polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • $650 million to support strong vaccination coverage levels
  • $5.7 billion for Community Health Centers, an increase of $50 million
  • $60 million for the Minority AIDS Initiative in the Office of the Secretary
  • $3 billion for HIV/AIDS research at NIH
  • $705 million for the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant to improve access to care for mothers, children, and their families.

Supporting the safety, education, and well-being of young people

  • Language encouraging the development of best practices for medical and nursing schools to train students to identify and respond to trafficking victims.
  • $7.7 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant program, an increase of $2.4 billion, which provides financial assistance to help low-income working families access child care and to improve the quality of child care for all children.
  • $130.5 million for the Healthy Start program, an increase of $8 million
  • Increase of maximum Pell Grant award to $6,345, an increase of $150
  • $11.6 billion for Head Start, an increase of $1.5 billion, which promotes school readiness$150 million for the Hispanic-Serving Institutions program, an increase of $25.6 million

Supporting older Americans

  • $422 million for senior Home and Community-Based Supportive Services, an increase of $37 million
  • $1 billion for senior nutrition, including $525 million for Congregate Nutrition Services and $305 million for Home-Delivered Meal Services
  • $43 million for the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program

An increase of $300 million for the Social Security Administration for increased staffing in field offices and teleservice centers

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