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Carter, Trahan applaud advancement of bill protecting children’s health

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Reps. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) applauded the Energy and Commerce Committee for advancing a bipartisan bill to protect children suffering from birth defects and other developmental disorders.

H.R. 5551, the Improving the Health of Children Act, will reauthorize the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities. This life-saving action will reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to supporting children’s health and well-being, 1 in 33 of whom suffer from a birth defect.

We have a duty to protect young lives, not just as Members of Congress or Americans, but as people,” said Carter, the bill’s Republican lead. “If Operation Warp Speed taught us anything, it is that American health care innovation thrives when government supports research and development. There are lives out there that need saving. There are cures that are waiting to be discovered. This bill will help us do just that.” 

“The National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities has been critical in helping young children with birth defects, and it’s long past time for it to get the support it deserves,” said Trahan, the bill’s Democratic lead. “That’s why I partnered with Congressman Carter to introduce bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Center for the first time in fifteen years and provide it with the resources necessary to bolster the efforts of more than a dozen essential programs. These are initiatives that change the lives of children, mothers, and families across the nation, and I’m grateful to my colleagues for working with us to advance the Improving the Health of Children Act today.”

Specifically, H.R. 5551 would reestablish programs related to birth defects; folic acid; cerebral palsy; intellectual disabilities; child development; newborn screening; autism; fragile X syndrome; fetal alcohol syndrome; tourette syndrome; pediatric genetic disorders; disability prevention; or other relevant diseases.

Read the full text of the bill