WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) touted major wins in the final omnibus spending package for fiscal year 2023 (FY23). Two of Raskin’s bills from the 117th Congress were included in the year-end appropriations deal, which was signed into law by President Biden: the bipartisan Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, to advance research on the effects of technology and media use on children’s health and development, and his legislation authorizing the creation of a Thomas Paine memorial in Washington, DC.

Now law, the CAMRA Act authorizes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to carry out research on the effects of screen time on children’s mental health and development, including on the long-term effects of technology and media use. The omnibus includes both the authorization for NIH to develop this research agenda as well as $15 million in funding for fiscal year 2023. 

“As screen time eclipses playtime, parents and caregivers need to understand how technology use reshapes the cognitive, physical and emotional development of children and adolescents,” said Rep. Raskin. “The CAMRA Act will finally provide the American people with independent and objective research on the effects, both positive and negative, of technology use on children’s health and wellness. I am delighted that the fiscal year 2023 government funding legislation entrusts the National Institutes of Health, located in Maryland’s Eighth District, with this essential project.”

Rep. Raskin’s bill to authorize the creation of a memorial in D.C. to Thomas Paine was also enacted in the omnibus. The memorial, already pre-funded with private contributions, will immortalize Paine’s legacy of passionate democratic leadership against tyranny and for the common good. 

“Tom Paine, luminary patriot of the Enlightenment and the American Revolution, inspired people in the colonies not only to overthrow the tyranny of faraway kings but to launch a nation founded on principles of democratic self-government, the rights of men and of women, and reason and science,” said Rep. Raskin. “Despite his catalytic role in founding America and our constitutional republic based on common sense, Paine remains too often an overlooked and underappreciated figure in our history. I am pleased that with the inclusion of my bill in the omnibus package, Paine will finally receive the central place of honor and awe he richly deserves in our nation’s capital.”

Other Raskin-led priorities and legislative initiatives enacted in the omnibus bill and now signed into law include:

  • $7.5 million for the Federal Transit Administration’s technical assistance and training program, including $2.5 million to support frontline transit workforce development. This program will help address our nation’s shortage of bus and rail transit workers.
  • $13 million for the Pediatric Mental Health Care Access (PMHCA) programs administered by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), a $2 million increase from fiscal year 2022. PMHCA programs ensure that children can receive high-quality mental health treatment in their own pediatrician’s office. These programs are especially critical given the current shortage of pediatric mental health providers.
  • $502 million for the new 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline and Behavioral Health Crisis Services, an increase of $390 million from fiscal year 2022. Raskin co-led the 988 Implementation Act (H.R. 7116) to ensure local crisis call centers have the resources required to meet community needs and helped secure $20 million to support mobile mental health crisis response teams.
  • $47.5 billion for the NIH, a $2.5 billion increase from fiscal year 2022. This funding supports lifesaving, best-in-class biomedical research that guides scientific and medical innovation worldwide.

“These significant funding victories reflect the fundamental importance of health care and health research to our district,” Rep. Raskin said.