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Carter, Trahan celebrate passage of bill protecting children’s health

WASHINGTON – Today, the lead sponsors of H.R. 5551 U.S. Reps. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-GA) and Lori Trahan (D-MA) celebrated passage of this landmark legislation to protect children suffering from birth defects and other developmental disorders.

The bipartisan Improving Health of Children Act passed the House today on a 405-20 vote. 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.

“I am encouraged by the bipartisan agreement that children suffering from developmental disorders deserve adequate funding and resources,” said Congressman Carter, the bill’s Republican lead. “As this bill heads to the Senate, I will continue fighting to ensure that programs essential to finding cures and supplying treatment for life-threatening disorders are properly supported by the federal government. There is no cause more deserving of Congress’s time and attention than that of protecting young lives.”

“Since its creation two decades ago, the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities has worked to ensure people living with disabilities are given the dignity, respect, and opportunities they need to succeed. I helped introduce the Improving the Health of Children Act to support that critical work,” said Congresswoman Trahan, the bill’s Democratic lead. “This bipartisan legislation will reauthorize the Center for the first time in fifteen years and provide it with the funding and resources necessary to support more than a dozen essential programs. I’m grateful to my colleagues in the House who supported this important legislation, and I look forward to partnering with our Senate counterparts to ensure it becomes law.”

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 here.