Fiscal Year 2022 House Agriculture and DHS Appropriations Reports Released

The House Appropriations Committee released the Fiscal Year 2022 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies appropriations bill.

The appropriations bill and associated report include a variety of provisions that impact infant feeding including:

  • $6B for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children program, level funding from FY 2021.
  • $90M for the breastfeeding peer counselor program, level funding from FY 2021.
  • The Committee directs the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to consider additional efforts to further promote breastfeeding to improve breastfeeding rates over the next 5 years. Within 90 days, the Committee requests a briefing on FNS's current breastfeeding strategies, impediments unique to the WIC program, and possible solutions for improvement.
  • The Committee directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to perform appropriately designed studies, including pregnant and postpartum women as subjects, to inform its efforts to encourage fish consumption in pregnancy. The studies will be conducted, provided to Congress, and posted on FDA's website.
  • The Committee encourages FDA to continue to collaborate with NIH and CDC to strengthen cross-agency approaches to including pregnant and lactating individuals in federally funded research.
  • The Committee supports broadening eligibility criteria, avoiding unnecessary exclusions from clinical trials, and improving recruitment, clinical trial designs, and data reporting to reflect the U.S. population and including pregnant and lactating individuals. The FDA shall provide a report to the Committee within one year of enactment of this bill.
  • The Committee encourages FDA to continue its efforts to inform retailers of the health risks for infants who consume infant formula past its "Use By" date.
  • The Committee encourages FDA to consider opportunities to focus specifically on naloxone availability and accessibility for pregnant and postpartum individuals with opioid use disorder.
  • The Committee directs FNS to publish state-level estimates of the percentage of pregnant women, infants, and children under age five participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program but not in the WIC program, and the percentage of pregnant women, infants, and children up to age five participating in the Medicaid program but not in the WIC program.

The House Appropriations Committee also released the Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Homeland Security appropriations bill.

The bill report includes a new provision urging the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to ensure that breastfeeding mothers impacted by disasters have access to breastfeeding services and supplies through its Critical Needs Assistance, Other Needs Assistance, and other programs. In the aftermath of a disaster, FEMA is directed to support families with young children by giving them priority consideration for immediate access to a shelter (temporary community shelter, hotel room, temporary housing, etc.) with a clean, safe, and private non-bathroom stall, space available for expressing breast milk, sanitary drinking water, a power supply, and access to a refrigerator for safe storage of food and/or expressed breastmilk. Breast pumps and related supplies should also be listed as eligible items under both Critical Needs Assistance and Other Needs Assistance programs

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All appropriations bills must be completed by the end of the fiscal year on September 30, or Congress will have to pass a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government funded at the start of FY 2022 on October 1. Learn more about the federal budget process.

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