Vice Chair Roybal-Allard Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup of FY 2022 Labor, HHS, Education Funding Bill
Washington, D.C. – This morning, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Vice Chair Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40) delivered the following remarks (as prepared) at the Appropriations Committee's markup of the fiscal year 2022 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies funding bill, livestreaming at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BD1KnPAs4Es:
“I rise in support of this bill, and I thank Chairwoman DeLauro for her passion and leadership in crafting such a strong bill for FY22.
“Madam Chair, you have done a commendable job in your first year as Appropriations Full Committee Chair. Despite the challenges of a pandemic, post insurrection restrictions, and the re-creation of a community project system, you have held a record number of hearings and are moving all 12 bills to markup and floor consideration before the August recess.
“I thank you and Ranking Member Cole for being so responsive to requests from subcommittee members from both sides of the aisle. We are privileged to serve with two such dedicated public servants who truly understand and respond to the needs of the most vulnerable among us.
“I echo the sentiments of my colleagues for the appreciation we all have for the LHHS subcommittee staff, both majority and minority, who with good humor and while navigating the environmental challenges of a virtual work situation, worked many long days and late nights to help produce such an historically robust bill.
“This LHHS mark rightly deserves its reputation of being ‘the people’s bill.’ I particularly want to thank you for your generous support of so many of my priorities, including continued funding of my underage drinking and newborn screening programs, my request for the creation of an HHS Coordinating Committee on Children’s Health and Welfare, and my last-minute request for a National Academies of Science study on underage and perinatal marijuana use.
“Your continued commitment to strengthening our public health system is also remarkable and reflected in the flexible stream of funding provided for public health infrastructure and regional capacity building.
“In addition, increased investments will significantly expand the impact of programs like REACH, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Climate and Health, and the Chronic Disease Education and Awareness Program.
“As Co-Chair of the Maternity Care Caucus with my friend Representative Jamie Herrera Beutler, we are particularly grateful for the strong investments in mothers and babies, including large increases in the MCH block grant, the Healthy Start Program, and Safe Motherhood programs.
“Thank you for expanding the capacity of the Maternal Mental Health Hotline, the SAMHSA Pregnant and Postpartum Women Program and at my and Jamie’s request, doubled funding for the Midwifery Education set-aside within the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students.
“Finally, I truly appreciate that the bill specifies an Interagency Coordinating Committee within the Office on Women’s Health to Promote Optimal Birth Outcomes. This new endeavor, which Jamie and I have been advocating for, will build a much-needed system of accountability into our government-wide efforts to improve maternal and infant health.
“Madam Chair, by crafting a bill that boldly invests in workers’ needs, our children’s education, and in helping to ensure all families and communities have access to quality health programs, you have truly upheld the promise of the Labor HHS and Education appropriations bill as being the people’s bill, and I am proud to support it.”
Video of Vice Chair Roybal-Allard’s statement can be found here.