The House Appropriations Committee released and subsequently approved the Fiscal Year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies and Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) appropriations report.
The Labor-HHS appropriations bill includes a variety of provisions that impact infant feeding, summarized below.
USBC has submitted appropriations requests with 8 offices in the House and 4 offices in the Senate, advocating for an increase in funding for the CDC Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program to $20M. All appropriations bills must be completed by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, or Congress will have to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded at the start of FY 2022 on October 1. Learn more about the federal budget process.
*** Individuals are encouraged to use USBC's online action tool to contact Members of Congress in support of increased FY22 funding for CDC breastfeeding support programs.***
Subscribe to the Staying Abreast: Weekly Wire e-Newsletter to receive updates and action alerts, including organizational action opportunities related to FY22 funding.
Federal Program Funding in the Labor-HHS Bill:
- $9.5M for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hospitals Promoting Breastfeeding program, level funding from FY 2021 and the President's budget request. Funding for this program comes from the Prevention and Public Health Fund to support breastfeeding families in maternity care settings, communities, and workplaces.
- Join USBC in urging the Senate to increase funding for this critical line item:
- Organizations are invited to sign the joint letter.
- Individuals are encouraged to contact their Senators and Representatives through the "Urge Congress to Protect the Right to Pump Milk During the Work Day" action tool.
- $73.95M for the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health program, $10M above FY 2021 and the President's budget request. The REACH program works to reduce racial and ethnic health disparities through local, culturally appropriate programs, including breastfeeding support programs.
- $27M for the Good Health and Wellness in Indian Country program, $5M above FY2021 and the President's budget request.
- $868.7M for the Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Block Grant, $156M above FY 2021 and $46M above the President's budget request. Breastfeeding is included in the MCH Block Grant National Performance Measures.
- $119M for the Safe Motherhood and Infant Health program, $56M above FY 2021 and $30M above the President's budget request.
- $10.4M for the Rural Maternity and Obstetrics Management Strategies (RMOMS) program, $5.4M above FY 2021 and equal to the President's budget request. RMOMS supports grants to improve access to and continuity of maternal and obstetrics care in rural communities by increasing the delivery of and access to preconception, pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum services, including breastfeeding support.
- $145M for the Healthy Start program, $17M above FY 2021 and the President's budget request. The Healthy Start program implements community-based interventions to improve the health of mothers and children, including breastfeeding education.
- $30M for the Maternal Health and Pregnancy Outcomes Vision for Everyone (IMPROVE) Initiative, as requested in the President's budget.
- $1.5M for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) to contract with the National Academies of Science, Education, and Medicine (NASEM) to convene a panel with specific legal, ethical, regulatory, and policy expertise to develop a framework for addressing medicolegal and liability issues when planning or conducting research specific to pregnant people and lactating people.
- $2M for the National Institute on Drug Abuse to enter into a contract with NASEM to commission a study to determine the scope of the problem of underage and perinatal marijuana use and effective ways of reducing it. The NAS shall produce a strategy designed to prevent and reduce underage consumption of today's marijuana and THC products in addition to a strategy designed to prevent and reduce consumption of today's marijuana and THC products by pregnant and breastfeeding women.
- $49.4M for the Pregnant and Postpartum Women Substance Use Disorder program, $16.5M above FY 2021 and level with the President's budget request.
- $1B for the Public Health Infrastructure and Capacity program, a new line item to address public health infrastructure gaps.
- $153M for investments in social determinants of health (SDOH) to improve health equity, $150M above FY 2021 and level with the President's budget request.
- $2M for the OWH to convene an Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Promotion of Optimal Birth Outcomes to oversee and coordinate the recently released HHS Action Plan to Improve Maternal Health in America.
- $61.5M for the Office of Research on Women's Health, an increase of $17.5M above FY 2021 and $9.2M above the President's budget request.
- $153 million, an increase of $150 million above the FY 2021 enacted level, for social determinates of health.
Federal Agency Funding in the Labor-HHS Bill:
- $10.5B for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nearly $2.7B above FY21 and $1B above the President's budget request.
- $2.1B for the Department of Labor, $305M above FY 2021 and $1.2M over the President's budget request.
- $300M for the Wage and Hour Division, $54M above FY 2021 and $23.5M above the President's budget request.
- $25M for the Women's Bureau, $10M above FY 2021 and $5M above the President's budget request.
- $8.7B for the Health Resources and Services Administration, $1.5B above FY 2021 and $910M above the President's budget request.
- $1.1B for the Maternal and Child Bureau, $213.5M above FY 2021 and $88.7M above the President's budget request.
- $75.8M for the Office of Minority Health (OMH), $14M above FY 2021 and the President's budget request.
- $42.1M for the Office on Women's Health (OWH), $7M above FY 2021 and the President's budget request.
- $380M for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, $34.7M above FY 2021 and level with the President's budget request.
- The House Appropriations Committee directs the Secretary of Labor to evaluate the feasibility of establishing a certification program that recognizes exemplary family-friendly businesses and incentivizes businesses to adopt best practices that reflect the challenges faced by working parents, including paid sick days, paid family leave of at least 12 weeks per year, childcare subsidies, lactation support, assistance paying for or referring employees to fertility or adoption services, and accommodations for pregnant workers.
- The Committee encourages NICHD, along with other relevant Institutes and Centers, CDC, and FDA, to continue to implement Task Force on Research Specific to Pregnant Women and Lactating Women (PRGLAC) recommendations. The Committee also encourages NICHD to connect at least four centers for human milk research to establish a research center network to support shared resources and facilities for human milk research and any required infrastructure as well as direct NIH and FDA to implement guidance and templates surrounding the inclusion of pregnant and lactating individuals within clinical trials.
- The Committee encourages the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion to work in collaboration with the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion to develop materials for a comprehensive public education campaign aimed at educating health care professionals on how to talk with their patients about aligning their dietary choices with the new 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, including new nutrition recommendations for children from birth through 24 months and pregnant and lactating women.
- The Committee urges the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to continue to work with States, in partnership with community health workers and their professional organizations, to incorporate community health workers into coverage in a way that aligns with scientific evidence and fully leverages their expertise and skills.