Family First Act Added to Bipartisan Bill
On Friday, Nov. 25, Senate amendments, including those made to the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA), became part of the much more comprehensive 21st Century Cures Act. The bipartisan bill will be heard by the House Committee on Rules Nov. 29 at 4 p.m. CT.
The 21st Century Cures Act is a gargantuan 996-page bill that covers many topics, from giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the ability to move more rapidly toward the approval of prescription drugs and medical devices, to additional funding for research for the National Institutes of Health, to provisions from the Helping Families in Crisis Mental Health Reform Act including increasing access to pediatric mental health care and establishing a grant program for infant and early childhood mental health promotion, intervention, and treatment.
Through provisions included from the Social Impact Partnership to Pay for Results Act, the bill would also reauthorize the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program until September 2017 and reserve $100 million from funds already appropriated for the TANF Contingency Fund for the federal government to pay for outcomes such as reducing incidences and adverse consequences of child abuse and neglect through social impact projects.
The bill has the support of major lobbying efforts including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the major pharmaceutical trade group for brand-name drug makers, hospitals, universities, and others. NPR.org has reported it to be "the second-most lobbied health care bill since 2011."
In short, it is a bipartisan bill that appears to have widespread support from very powerful D.C. lobbies, which makes it seem likely to pass during a floor vote in the House this week. The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities understands that no amendments will be allowed and that the Senate will take up whatever passes the House without any Senate amendments.
Overview of Provisions for FFPSA
After an initial review, it is apparent that the intense negotiations the Alliance had heard about over the last few months resulted in changes from the version of the FFPSA passed by the House in June.
This current overview of provisions for FFPSA includes the indication of “(NEW)” before any changes from the version previously passed by the House.
The FFPSA provisions are outlined in a navigable table of contents for the 21st Century Cures Act and summarized on pages 39-43 of the bill summary.
Direct questions to Marlo Nash, senior vice president of public policy and mobilization for the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, at 202-429-0270.