Wasserman Schultz Secures Drowning Prevention Funds in FY23 Spending Plan

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Washington, December 20, 2022 | comments
It is crucial that we keep our children healthy and safe, and that’s always been one of my main priorities in Congress. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act has saved countless lives over the years, so I am proud that it was reauthorized in the end-of-year omnibus and included Indian Tribes as eligible grant recipients.
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Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) announced that the Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety (VGB) Reauthorization Act that she and Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Roy Blunt (MO), and Reps. John Carter (TX-31), Colin Allred (TX-32), and Michael Burgess (TX-26) spearheaded in Congress, has been included in the end-of-year omnibus spending bill. 

“It is crucial that we keep our children healthy and safe, and that’s always been one of my main priorities in Congress. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act has saved countless lives over the years, so I am proud that it was reauthorized in the end-of-year omnibus and included Indian Tribes as eligible grant recipients,” said Rep. Wasserman Schultz. “While the Omnibus did not include the entire raft of programs we need, this is a step in the right direction. I look forward to continuing to push this legislation forward in the next Congress. We are not powerless in addressing these tragedies, and strong education, awareness, and enforcement efforts can help make children safer around the water and save lives.”

The VGB Act is bipartisan legislation first authorized in 2008 aimed at improving the safety of all pools and spas by increasing the layers of protection and promoting constant supervision to prevent child drowning and entrapment. This and other local funding projects were included in the draft Omnibus after intense bipartisan, bicameral negotiations between the House and Senate. The Omnibus is expected to pass both chambers later this week.

Drownings and near-drownings in pools and spas pose a significant public health risk to our nation’s children, and this public health crisis remains the leading cause of unintentional death for children ages one to four. Drowning death rates for American Indian and Black individuals, and those in rural areas, show high disparities that greatly affect these communities and their families.

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