Congressional Hearing on Zika Epidemic, STEM Funding for Women & Minorities, a Bill to Improve Child Care for Military Veterans, Treating Drug Addiction
On February 9, the House passed, by voice vote, the Female Veteran Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 2915), sponsored by Rep. Julia Brownley (D-CA). The House Veterans Affairs Committee passed the legislation on September 17, 2015.
US Army 2nd Lt. Laura Amschler, Headquarter United States Army Europe, goes through the obstacle course during competition in Grafenwoehr, Germany, 2012. Wikimedia Commons
On February 11, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed, by voice vote, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (S. 524), as amended, sponsored by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). Among other provisions, the bill would authorize a pilot program to provide grants to improve treatment for pregnant and postpartum women diagnosed with substance abuse disorders. The measure also would require the attorney general to report on grants awarded for family-based substance abuse treatment.
On February 10, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, and the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere held a hearing, The Global Zika Epidemic: Emerging in the Americas. The hearing addressed ongoing research to better understand the Zika virus infection and its link to microcephaly, a birth defect. The following witnesses testified:
- Tom Frieden, director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;
- Anthony S. Fauci, director, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health; and
- Ariel Pablos-Mendez, assistant administrator, Bureau for Global Health, U.S. Agency for International Development.
S. 2539—Sen. Robert Casey Jr. (D-PA)/Finance (2/10/16) — A bill to provide for mandatory funding, to ensure that the families that have infants and toddlers, have a family income of not more than 200 percent of the applicable federal poverty guideline, and need child care have access to high-quality infant and toddler child care by the end of fiscal year 2026, and for other purposes.
H.R. 4524—Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY)/Ways and Means, Education and the Workforce (2/10/16) — A bill to provide for mandatory funding, to ensure that the families that have infants and toddlers, have a family income of not more than 200 percent of the applicable federal poverty guideline, and need child care have access to high-quality infant and toddler child care by the end of fiscal year 2026, and for other purposes.
H.R. 4570—Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)/Agriculture (2/12/16) — A bill to amend the Department of Agriculture program for research and extension grants to increase participation by women and underrepresented minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics to redesignate the program as the "Jeannette Rankin Women and Minorities in STEM Fields Program." *
H.R. 4540—Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)/Agriculture, Energy and Commerce, and Education and the Workforce (2/11/16) — A bill to provide clarity regarding states’ ability to manage the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and to provide states with funding to treat treat drug addiction in the SNAP population.
S. 2542—Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV)/Finance (2/11/16) — A bill to provide for alternative and updated certification requirements for participation under Medicaid state plans of the Social Security Act in the case of certain facilities treating infants under one year of age with neonatal abstinence syndrome, and for other purposes.
H.R. 4536—Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)/Judiciary (2/11/16) — A bill to prohibit the unlawful disposal of fetal remains, and for other purposes.
S. 2515—Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)/Armed Services (2/9/16) — A bill to ensure criminal background checks of employees of the military child care system and providers of child care services and youth program services for military dependents.
S. 2521—Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA)/Veterans' Affairs (2/9/16) — A bill to improve the treatment at non-Department of Veterans Affairs facilities of veterans who are victims of military sexual assault, and for other purposes.
S. 2520—Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)/Veterans' Affairs (2/9/16) — A bill to improve the care provided by the secretary of Veterans Affairs to newborn children.
Courtesy of Women's Policy Inc
* Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Grant Program Funding Opportunity (WAMS); Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture
The Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Fields Grant Program is a competitive grants program supporting research and extension projects that will increase, to the maximum extent practicable, participation by rural women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
The goal of the WAMS program is to develop and implement robust collaborations to increase the representation, participation, and entrepreneurial skills and abilities of rural women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM careers, thereby contributing to economic prosperity in rural areas across the nation. Funded projects will meet this goal and lead to the development of a robust and diverse food and agricultural STEM work force that is highly competent in the application of STEM knowledge and skills, with increased participation of women and minorities from rural areas across a broad spectrum of rural, local, state or national communities.
The WAMS Grant Program provides funding that may only be used for research and extension activities in the training, outreach and mentoring of rural women and underrepresented minorities from rural areas in STEM fields relevant to USDA mission. It is an expectation that investment of public funds through the WAMS Grant Program will lead to:
- Gains in STEM knowledge, skills and capabilities, as well as new participants in USDA mission science through outreach activities, new careers or entrepreneurial enterprise;
- Increased documentation of outputs, significant activities, including dissemination activities, events, services or products that contribute toward achieving the goals and objectives of WAMS;
- Increased change in knowledge, actions or conditions; and,
- Increased capacity for carrying out the USDA mission by rural women and underrepresented minorities.
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