On July 29, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a legislative package (H.R.4502) with seven of the twelve annual appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022, including the bill to fund the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Included in the bill to fund HHS are significant proposed increases to programs to improve maternal and child health. The bill would fund the Title V Maternal and Child Health Block Grant at $868.7 million, which would be $156 million above the Fiscal Year 2021 funding level.
The next step in the annual appropriations process is consideration of funding legislation in the Senate. However, the Senate Appropriations Committee has not yet released the bill text for the Senate versions of appropriations legislation let alone begun formal consideration of the bills. With time running out before the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30, 2021, both chambers will likely need to pass a continuing resolution (or “CR”) that extends Fiscal Year 2021 funding levels into the fall to give Congress more time to negotiate the Fiscal Year 2022 bills.