CHILDREN’S HEALTH: Amendments Halt Bill Markup
A scheduled markup for a popular children's health measure came to a halt yesterday after members on the House Commerce health and environment subcommittee entered "a bidding war of controversial amendments," ranging in topic from fetal tissue trafficking to tobacco regulation. Republicans and Democrats blame each other for the delay that now threatens to sink the bill that would authorize federal funding for research into childhood diseases, like juvenile diabetes and asthma and create an NIH pediatric research initiative. "Democrats had arranged to turn the markup into a three-ring circus," a committee spokesperson said. But Democrats argued that bipartisan consensus broke down after Commerce Chair Tom Bliley (R-Va.) proposed including adoption language in the bill. Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said, "If Bliley had not offered his adoption language we could have had an agreed bill." Brown and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich) planned to introduce amendments relating to HMO treatment of children. Rep. Greg Ganske (R-Iowa) hoped to encourage support for a series of posters to promote his move towards FDA regulation of tobacco, while Rep. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) was ready to propose measures relating to fetal tissue trafficking and the abortion drug RU-486. The markup will resume after the upcoming spring recess (Rovner, CongressDaily, 4/13).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.