Kaine, Perdue lead Senate effort to protect health services for mothers

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Photo Credit: W. Scott McGill

U.S. Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and David Perdue (R-GA) introduced bipartisan legislation to allow March of Dimes to continue its lifesaving work on behalf of all moms and babies.

The Protecting Critical Services for Mothers and Babies Act allows March of Dimes to qualify for the same pension funding rules as many other charities and non-profit organizations. Specifically, the bill would designate March of Dimes as a Cooperative and Small Employer Charity (CSEC) pension sponsor to provide it with more predictable and affordable pension funding options.

The change would have no impact on retirees or other participants, and it would come at no cost to taxpayers.

“March of Dimes does incredible work to support mothers and children,” said Senator Perdue. “Through research, education, and advocacy, March of Dimes helps address the unique challenges that come with growing a family. Our bill simply allows March of Dimes to qualify for the same pension program as other non-profit organizations. Ultimately, this small change ensures March of Dimes can continue lifesaving medical research and programming.”

“March of Dimes has played a critical role in serving mothers and babies for more than eight decades,” said Senator Kaine. “I’m thrilled they decided to move their headquarters to Crystal City, and I’m pleased to support their important work with bipartisan legislation that will ensure they are subject to the same pension funding rules as many other non-profits and charities.”

The bill is cosponsored by U.S. Sens. Tim Scott (R-SC) and Mark Warner (D-VA). Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives by U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath (D-GA-06), Rob Woodall (R-GA-07), Don Beyer (D-VA-08), and Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN-01).

“The March of Dimes organization provides some of our most vulnerable citizens, mothers and infants, with crucial support as they face the challenges of raising a child,” said Sen. Scott. “March of Dimes shouldn’t have to choose between providing a reasonable legacy pension program to its employees or continuing their organizational mission. I am proud to support legislation that will allow March of Dimes to continue its mission of lifesaving research, educational resources, and advocacy efforts.”

“This bill will allow March of Dimes to continue fulfilling its lifesaving mission fighting for the health of moms and babies in communities across the country and the globe,” said Sen. Warner.

“For over 80 years, March of Dimes has done the important work of improving health care for our mothers and babies,” said Congresswoman McBath. “As a mother and two-time breast cancer survivor, I am proud to support this legislation that will allow March of Dimes to focus on improving maternal and infant health throughout the country, while ensuring the organization can continue to fulfill its obligations to the workers who carry out this important mission.”

“Eighty years after the March of Dimes was first established to save lives during the polio epidemic, the organization continues to support mothers and babies around the world through research, education, and support services. Now, at a time when March of Dimes is forced to choose whether to help its employees retire with dignity and financial security or continue its core mission in service to others, Congress must act,” said Congressman Woodall. “I am proud to support this commonsense legislation so that March of Dimes is free to make the financial decisions necessary to ensure the solvency of its pension program and that mothers and babies continue to receive the vital support they need.”

“I am proud of the work March of Dimes has done to support mothers and their children both across the United States and in Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District,” said Congressman Beyer. “It is now our turn to support March of Dimes.  I urge my colleagues in the House to support this bill and I hope it passes as soon as possible.”

“March of Dimes extends its deep appreciation to Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA), Rep. Rob Woodall (R-GA), Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), and Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) for their leadership on bipartisan legislation introduced today that will help us continue to fight for the health of all moms and babies,” said Stacey D. Stewart, President and CEO of March of Dimes. “The legislation allows March of Dimes to have the same predictable and consistent pension funding rules as many other non-profits and charities with legacy pensions. That will ensure we can continue to fund cutting edge research to prevent pre-term birth, implement education and support programs for pregnant women and their families, and work on policy solutions to address our nation’s maternal and infant health crisis. We look forward to working with Congress to enact this commonsense legislation as soon as possible.”

Click here to view text of the bill.

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