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Amata Welcomes CHIP authorization and end of shutdown

Congresswoman Aumua Amata [SN file photo]
Source: Media release, Office of the Congresswoman

Washington, D.C. — Congresswoman Aumua Amata welcomed Congressional action authorizing the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for six years, and ending the unnecessary government shutdown late Monday.

Congresswoman Amata is pleased that CHIP, a priority which helps ensure access to medical care for many children in American Samoa, is no longer dependent on short term authorization, but in place for the traditional six years. President Trump signed the bill into law immediately Monday night.

“Authorization of CHIP for six years is great news for American Samoa, and I’m pleased the unnecessary government shutdown ended quickly,” said Aumua Amata. “The Children’s Health Insurance Program helps make sure health care services are available to many children. Once again, we can count on this important plan being available to take care of needs and help keep children healthy.”

Congress had previously extended the program in late December 2017 for several months as part of a short-term government funding bill. Instead of repeating the temporary fix, this time the House passed a full renewal of the CHIP program. A Friday vote in the Senate initially defeated the House-passed CHIP reauthorization and shut down the government, but Congress voted again on Monday.

This time, it passed, once again funding the government for several weeks and sending CHIP to the President’s desk to be signed into law for the next six years.

“It’s good to see this priority for our children completed for the next six years, along with the end of a government shutdown that simply should not have happened at all,” concluded Congresswoman Amata. “I was deeply disappointed by Friday’s Senate vote to shut down the government, but I’m glad it was short-lived and Congress has renewed CHIP, which puts this essential program back on track for years to come.”