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 Legislative and Policy Corner

Big Week for L-HHS Appropriations
The Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the fiscal year 2019 legislation for Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (L-HHS) this week. The committee is expected to release the bill text and report language after the conclusion of the markup. The House Appropriations Committee released the report language for the House Labor-HHS bill on June 25 with details on funding levels for the federal programs funded by the bill, including the Title V Maternal and Child Health Service Block Grant program. The House Appropriations Committee was scheduled to mark up its L-HHS bill this week, but the markup was postponed.
Keep an eye out for Legislative Alerts this week with more information about funding levels for key federal maternal and child health programs included in the L-HHS bills.
 
AMCHP Statement on Family Separation at the Border
In response to the Trump administration's policy of separating children from their parents at the border, AMCHP released a statement calling on the administration to reverse its policy and take immediate steps to ensure the well-being of affected children by reuniting them with their families. Since then, President Trump issued an executive order directing his administration to detain children together with their families "where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources" for the length of any immigration proceedings. For the migrant children already separated from their families at the border, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services created a task force charged with reunifying them with their families. AMCHP will continue to monitor this situation closely.
 
Markup of Maternal Mortality bill, PREEMIE Reauthorization Act

On June 26 the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions passed two bills that support maternal and child health: the Maternal Health Accountability Act (S. 1112) and the Prematurity Research Expansion and Education for Mothers who deliver Infants Early (PREEMIE) Reauthorization Act of 2018 (S. 3029). The Maternal Health Accountability Act would establish a new grant program to be administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to provide funding to states to establish or sustain statewide maternal mortality review committees. The PREEMIE Reauthorization Act would renew the authorization of federal research activities and workforce education programs focused on prematurity prevention. AMCHP endorsed these bills as introduced and will continue to advocate for passage in the House and Senate.

Rescissions Update
The White House proposal to rescind roughly $15 billion in federal budget authority from prior fiscal years appears to be dead. The Senate last week failed to pass the rescissions package that had been approved by the House of Representatives before the 45-day window for special consideration expired on June 22. The rescissions package could have forced spending cuts for programs funded by the L-HHS appropriations bill.

Get up to Date on Federal MCH Policy
The next event in the All-Member National MCH Policy Call series will take place on Thursday, July 5, from 2-3 p.m. ET.