What We’re Watching in Congress – August 2021

August is usually a quiet month on Capitol Hill, as lawmakers return to their states and districts for the summer work period. But this month has seen a flurry of activities on a number of priorities central to the wellbeing of families in the 1,000-day window. Central among these is progress towards the passage of a $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, comprising the majority of President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda. While there is much work to be done before these provisions are finalized, this is exciting progress towards the “once-in-a-generation investment in our families and our children” that President Biden has called for. The team at 1,000 Days will continue to monitor this process and work closely with partners and lawmakers to advance priorities to improve the health and wellbeing of birthing people, young children, and their families.

Last week, the Senate voted to advance both a bipartisan “hard infrastructure” package and a budget resolution that marks the first step towards a sweeping, $3.5 trillion investment in American jobs and families. Shortly after, House Democratic leadership announced that they would interrupt their regular August district work period to vote on the budget resolution and begin working on the underlying details on that package. Many specifics have yet to be determined, but here is what the package is expected to include to support moms, babies, and their families–

  • Investments in maternal health and health equity
    • Key provisions of the Black Maternal Health Momnibus
    • Extension of postpartum Medicaid coverage from 60 days to 1 year
    • Efforts to address the Medicaid coverage gap
  • Establishment of the first national paid family and medical leave program
  • Extension of the expanded Child Tax Credit
  • Investments in child care and universal pre-K
  • Additional funding for child nutrition programs
  • And much, much more…

Right now, lawmakers in the House and Senate are working to finalize the details of these provisions. There is a long path forward before this bill can be signed into law, with many hurdles to clear, but if passed, this will be the largest investment in American families in a lifetime. 1,000 Days will continue working to build support for these important programs and to ensure that the voices of moms, babies, and their families are heard and considered as this legislation moves forward.