Sending Office: Honorable Lauren Underwood
July 18, 2019
Until this year, the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) Climate and Health Program was the agency’s only office dedicated to helping state and local governments prepare for the public health consequences of climate change. As part of its work, the Climate
and Health Program was also an important contributor to the federal government’s National Climate Assessment.
Unfortunately, this Administration’s actions have undermined the scope and strength of the Climate and Health Program. Earlier this year, the Program was consolidated into the Asthma & Community Health Branch at CDC – a program solely focused on the study
of environmental-related respiratory illnesses. Furthermore, all funding for the Program has been eliminated from the President’s budget justification for the past three years.
We are deeply concerned about the public health effects of these changes and are committed to upholding the invaluable work and assistance this Program provides, allowing state access to appropriate resources that identify and address emerging health threats
brought on by climate change. That is why we have introduced the Climate and Health Protection Act (H.R. 3819), which would:
- Amend the Public Health Service Act to explicitly authorize the Climate and Health Program.
- Codify the Program’s core functions:
- to translate climate change science to inform states, local health departments, and communities;
- to create decision support tools to build capacity to prepare for climate change; and
- to serve as a credible leader in planning for public health impacts of climate change.
- Authorize $15 million in annual appropriations, a $5 million increase over previous years that is consistent with the funding level passed by the House in the FY 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations package.
- Prohibit the transfer of funds or reprogramming.
This legislation is supported by the League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense Fund Action, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
I invite you to join us as a cosponsor of this legislation to ensure that the federal government remains committed to helping our local communities address and mitigate the harmful public health effects of climate change.
For more information or to cosponsor H.R. 3819, please contact Donald Pollard in Rep. Underwood’s office at
Member of Congress
Member of Congress
e-Dear Colleague version 2.0