Yesterday, thanks to the consistent advocacy of Congressman Bobby L. Rush, in the U. S. House of Representatives, The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act passed through the Energy and Commerce Committee, now positioning the bill for a full House vote later this month. Many people have written to me asking what this means and/or how their organizations can sign on to be cosponsors of the legislation. Both questions are addressed below.
What is a markup? What is its significance? A committee markup is a process occurring both in the House and the Senate by which a bill (assigned to that committee) is reviewed and/or “marked up” by committee members. Before bills in either the House or Senate can be considered for a full vote, they must pass through their assigned committee. Any concerns are raised at that time and if necessary modifications can be negotiated, language amended to give the bill the best chance of full bipartisan support for passage. Mark-ups end with a vote to send the new version of the bill to the floor for final approval. This is what happened to The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act in the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday.
If a bill did not pass in the Congressional Session in which it was first introduced, the process initiates again with each new session.
Because Congressman Bobby L. Rush (U.S. House of Representatives) and U. S. Senator Robert Menendez (U.S. Senate) have already formed a powerful constituent/legislator coalition to ensure the bill’s contents, purpose and language reflect concerns of both Congressional bodies and party legislators, it is not surprising that yesterday’s process was successful. It is expected that the full House vote anticipated later this month will also succeed. From there, the bill will go to the U. S. Senate for similar action.
The rapid progress of this bill so early in the 111th Congress brings renewed hope that we could see The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act become law later this year! To read a full version of the bill, click here.
How can my national organization sign on to become a cosponsor of this important maternal child healthcare legislation?