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Frankel Champions COVID-19 Response, Working Families, Veterans, Older Americans, Women, and Children in Appropriations Bill

With Critical Frankel Priorities Included, Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill Heads to House Floor for Final Passage

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West Palm Beach, FL, July 13, 2020 | comments

Today, Representative Lois Frankel (FL-21) released the following statement after helping pass the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill for Fiscal Year 2021 out of the Appropriations Committee. 

This bill includes healthy aging provisions that Rep. Frankel championed that provides $10 million to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention to expand its healthy aging work to promote the health of older adults—a population that is particularly vulnerable in the current public health crisis. 

“This robust bill propels our investment in our children, families, veterans, and older Americans. By funding childcare, healthy aging work, medical advancement, and gun violence research, we will enrich the lives of all Americans,” said Rep. Frankel. “We also directly address the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on our communities, with more money for public health, seniors, and state unemployment systems.”

In addition to advocating for Americans impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, Rep. Frankel also advocated for the protection of reproductive health care by working to secure funding for Title X and teen pregnancy prevention, and eliminating abstinence-only education. 

“Systematic injustice comes in many forms, and time and time again the Trump-Pence administration has tried to target the health, rights, and bodily autonomy of women—especially women of color, people with low incomes, and LGBTQ+ individuals,” said Rep. Frankel. “Women have fought for the right to vote, for equality in education, to get credit in our own name, for access to contraception, and for access to abortion and we will not stop now. This bill takes an important step toward ensuring women have access to the reproductive health care they need, and I will continue fighting to ensure that this access is guaranteed regardless of where a woman lives or works.” 

The Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill is the largest non-defense funding bill. This year it includes $196.5 billion in overall funding, an increase of $2.4 billion above last year’s level and $20.8 billion above the President’s request. The bill provides an additional $24.425 billion in emergency funding to rebuild our nation’s aged public health infrastructure.

As a member of this Appropriations subcommittee, Rep. Frankel advocated for an array of programs, including:

Emergency Pandemic Response Funding Supplemental

  • Provides $4 billion for COVID-19 vaccination campaign and enhanced influenza vaccination campaign.
  • Provides $2 billion for Public Health Emergency Preparedness cooperative agreements to increase state and local public health emergency response capabilities.
  • Provides $1 billion to improve capabilities at state and local public health laboratories.
  • Provides $1 billion to strengthen global public health preparedness and response capacity.
  • Provides $400 million for the multi-year effort to modernize public health data surveillance and analytics.
  • Provides $200 million for public health workforce development, including the doubling of the Epidemic Intelligence Service fellowship program.

Health:

  • Provides $8 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), including:
    • $10 million in new funding for Healthy Aging, recognizing the role of public health in promoting the health of older adults,
      • This May, Rep. Frankel introduced bipartisan legislation to protect America’s seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
    • $150 million for the HIV Initiative,
    • $25 million for firearm injury and mortality prevention research,
    • $68 million for Safe Motherhood programs,
  • Provides $47 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to provide life-saving research and care. This includes:
    • $5 billion in emergency appropriations to address the COVID-19 pandemic,
    • $2.8 billion for Alzheimer’s disease research,
    • $3.1 billion for HIV/AIDS research,
    • $195 million for the Cancer Moonshot project.
  • Provides $6 billion for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Education:

  • Provides $1.3 billion for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, to award grants to rural and inner-city public schools.
  • Provides $31 million for Arts in Education, funding for school art programs.
  • Provides $7 million for Veterans Student Service Centers, which offer resources and give a boost to student veterans transitioning from military to civilian life.
  • Fully defunds abstinence-only education.

Children and Families:

  • Provides $5.9 billion for the Child Care and Development Block Grant, to help low-income families afford quality childcare.
  • Provides $10.8 billion for Head Start, to provide comprehensive early childhood education for low-income families.
  • Provides $286.5 million for the Title X Family Planning Program, which provides life-saving quality health care, including reproductive care.  
  • Provides $58 million for the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program.
  • Provides $4.5 million for the National Human Trafficking Resource Hotline.
  • Provides $14 million for the Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Provides $7.1 million for the Violence Against Women health initiatives.
  • Provides $5 million for Holocaust Survivors, to aid survivors with health care, aging assistance, and emergency costs.

Labor:

  • Provides $925 million for states to handle unanticipated unemployment workloads during the pandemic.
  • Provides an increase of $84 million to support state unemployment systems.

For a full summary of the bill, click here.

Now that the legislation has passed out of committee, it will be brought to the House floor for a vote in the coming weeks. If the Senate passes its own bill, appropriators will reconcile the differences to then send the result to the President’s desk for a signature.

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