Yesterday, Senate Leaders announced a bipartisan budget deal to lift arbitrary funding caps for two years, allowing for much-needed increases in federal spending. The deal also maintains funding for domestic and foreign aid programs through March 23, 2018, giving Congress time to agree upon specific funding levels for the remainder of fiscal year 2018. 1,000 Days is encouraged by this important development.
We strongly support the additional funding announced for domestic and foreign aid programs vital to the health and well-being of moms and babies. We look forward to working with Congress to maintain support for effective, life-saving health and nutrition programs both at home and around the world.
We are particularly pleased that the bipartisan budget deal includes a two-year extension of funding for community health centers, the national health service corps and other health-related programs, helping to ensure millions of Americans will be able to continue to access the health services they need. The bipartisan Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program will receive an additional five years of funding and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) will receive additional funding—providing vulnerable children with the health care security they need. Last, much-needed federal relief will be available to families and communities affected by the recent natural disasters in Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and California as they continue to recover.
However, we are disappointed this deal includes a $1.35 billion cut to the Prevention and Public Health Fund (PPHF) over the next decade. Reducing the PPHF undermines the critical work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to protect our public health both at home and abroad, including jeopardizing initiatives that support breastfeeding and reduce health disparities.
Still, bipartisan support of this deal shows that Congress works best when Republicans and Democrats come together to put the needs of families first. Moms and babies here and around the world deserve no less.