Posts Tagged ‘ Congress ’

Federal Funding for Newborn Home Visit Programs Extended

Friday, April 4th, 2014

A number of programs that send trained volunteers to the homes of new moms to help out and dispense advice and support will receive federal funding for another 6 months, following a Congressional vote to extend the funds.  More from The New York Times:

Similar community models [to a New Hampshire program called Good Beginnings] make the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Programs funded through the federal-state partnership successful, said Kris Perry, executive director of the First Five Years Fund. “In Utah, state organizations noticed a high rate of infant mortality among the Asian Pacific Islander population. For that group, the best messenger is the aunt or grandmother — a registered nurse might not be as effective as a trained parent educator.” Federal funds went to a program designed to understand the community it was trying to reach. “They were able to greatly reduce infant mortality rates,” Ms. Perry said. In the mid-2000s, the infant mortality rate for Pacific Islander families in Utah was more than double the statewide rate. Just a few years later, it was lower than the rate in the rest of the state, with nearly 48 percent more babies living.

In a bipartisan vote, Congress approved a six-month extension of the federal funding that goes to the programs, which would have run out in September 2013. That means it will be months before program directors and employees will once again have to turn their attention to securing their funding for another year — months that can be spent on work that increases family self-sufficiency, reduces medical costs and even lessens the need for remedial education for the children in participating families.

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Congresswoman to Have Record Number of Kids While in Office

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Washington state Republican member of Congress, is pregnant with her third child, which will make her the lawmaker who has given birth to the most children while in office.  She is already the record-holder for having had her first two children while in office.  More from Today.com:

It’s all pretty surprising for the Washington state Republican, who wasn’t even married when she first got elected to Congress in 2004.

“I went through a time when I thought, ‘Well, maybe I’ll be single for the rest of my life,’ because I wasn’t getting a lot of dates,” she told TODAY.com.

The highest ranking GOP woman in Congress, McMorris Rodgers currently chairs the U.S. House Republican Conference, the body responsible for electing that chamber’s leadership. When she announced her pregnancy, she promised that neither her political duties nor her re-election campaign would be affected.

“I think it’s becoming more and more accepted,” she said. “As more women serve in Congress, you’ll see it will become more common for women to have babies while they’re serving. It’ll become easier in that people probably just won’t think as much about it.”

Image: Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, via http://mcmorris.house.gov/

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now

Pressure Builds on FDA to Ban BPA in Food Packaging

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been slowly disappearing from toys, food packaging and food service items since it was revealed to have health risks including cancer, sexual dysfunction, and heart disease.  The issue is particularly important for children, as BPA levels–detectable in the blood and urine of pregnant women, and in the umbilical cord blood of infants–is believed to impact fetal and child development alike.

The fight to have BPA banned from all food service items was escalated late last week when Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass. petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban it.  The Washington Post reports that Markey’s argument is not based on the health risks of BPA, but rather is based on the obsolescence of the material:

Markey did not premise his request on the chemical’s potential dangers. Instead, he used a provision that allows people to petition for changes to food additive rules if it can be shown that an additive’s old use has been abandoned. Markey’s office polled the food industry and found that major manufacturers no longer use BPA in their food packaging. Using this “abandonment” clause enables the government to sidestep the debate over whether BPA is safe and still bar the chemical’s use.

In three separate petitions, Markey is asking FDA to ban the chemical’s use in the packages of three types of household products: infant formula and baby/toddler food, canned foods and beverages, and small reusable food containers.

The four companies that make nearly all the nation’s formula said they no longer use BPA, according to the petition. Seven other companies that make canned foods said they either no longer use BPA or they are phasing it out. Seven firms that make reusable containers, such as Tupperware and Glad, said they have either never used BPA or have stopped using it.

The FDA has previously stipulated that BPA carries health risks, but has stopped short of banning it saying that it is safe in small doses.

Image: Plastic baby bottle, via Shutterstock.

Add a Comment
Back To Parents News Now