SMALL AIRPORT MOTHERS' ROOMS ACT OF 2019; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 203
(House of Representatives - December 16, 2019)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.


[Pages H10280-H10282]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                SMALL AIRPORT MOTHERS' ROOMS ACT OF 2019

  Mrs. FLETCHER. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 3362) to amend title 49, United State Code, to require small 
hub airports to construct areas for nursing mothers, and for other 
purposes, as amended.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 3362

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Small Airport Mothers' Rooms 
     Act of 2019''.

     SEC. 2. MOTHERS' ROOMS.

       Section 47107(w) of title 49, United States Code, is 
     amended--
       (1) in paragraph (1) by striking ``In fiscal year 2021'' 
     and all that follows through ``the Secretary of 
     Transportation'' and inserting ``The Secretary of 
     Transportation'';
       (2) in paragraph (1)(B) by striking ``one men's and one 
     women's'' and inserting ``at least one men's and at least one 
     women's'';
       (3) by striking paragraph (2)(A) and inserting the 
     following:
       ``(A) Airport size.--The requirements in paragraph (1) 
     shall only apply to applications submitted by the airport 
     sponsor of--
       ``(i) a medium or large hub airport in fiscal year 2021 and 
     each fiscal year thereafter; and
       ``(ii) a small hub airport in fiscal year 2023 and each 
     fiscal year thereafter, but only if such airport has been 
     categorized as a small or medium hub airport for the 3 
     consecutive fiscal years prior to the fiscal year in which 
     the application is submitted.'';
       (4) in paragraph (2)(B) by striking ``the date of enactment 
     of this Act complies with the requirement in paragraph (1)'' 
     and inserting ``October 5, 2018, complies with the 
     requirement in paragraph (1)(A)''; and
       (5) in paragraph (2)(C) by striking ``paragraph (1)'' and 
     inserting ``paragraph (1)(A)''.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Mrs. Fletcher) and the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Bost) each 
will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from Texas.


                             General Leave

  Mrs. FLETCHER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.R. 3362, as amended.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentlewoman from Texas?
  There was no objection.
  Mrs. FLETCHER. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the bill introduced by the 
gentlewoman from West Virginia (Mrs. Miller).
  Few things are more sacred than the ability of parents to care for 
their infant children. However, mothers often face challenges, and 
potentially public stigma, when attempting to breastfeed, nurse, or 
change their children while traveling. In fact, a study of 100 airports 
found that, while 62 percent reported being breastfeeding friendly, 
only 8 percent met the minimum requirements for a breastfeeding mother: 
an electrical outlet, a table, and a chair.
  The absence of sufficient designated sanitary spaces during travel 
can cause unnecessary stress, wasted time, and even potential health 
issues for mothers who are not able to pump.
  The FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 included a requirement that 
medium and large hub airports maintain nursing rooms and baby changing 
tables for the convenience of nursing mothers and parents traveling 
with infants. While that was a step in the right direction, there are 
still a significant number of commercial service airports--72, to be 
exact--that the law did not cover.
  This bill enhances that mandate by requiring small hub airports to 
also maintain nursing rooms and baby changing tables in their passenger 
terminal buildings. Requiring small hub airports to provide private, 
clean, accessible, and equipped areas for parents to nurse their 
children will help remove some of the barriers parents face while 
traveling and provide critical support to families when they need it.
  Mr. Speaker, I support this bill, and I urge my colleagues to do the 
same.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

                              {time}  1600

  Mr. BOST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 3362, the Small Airport 
Mothers' Rooms Act of 2019. This bill passed unanimously out of the 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in June, and I am 
pleased it is finally being brought to the floor.
  While a growing number of airports have designated mothers' rooms, 
many

[[Page H10281]]

nursing mothers still end up in a restroom or on the airport floor. 
When delays happen, passengers often have no control over how long they 
will be at the airport. For nursing mothers, these delays can make a 
difficult trip even more stressful. Making certain accommodations 
within the airport terminal is essential.
  The bill extends the requirements of the bipartisan FAA 
Reauthorization Act of 2018 by requiring small hub airports to provide 
clean facilities for mothers to nurse their children. The law requires 
that the area be located outside of a restroom and include a place to 
sit, a table, a sink or sanitizing equipment, and an electrical outlet. 
Importantly, the room must also be fully accessible to passengers with 
disabilities.
  When fully enacted, this bill will ensure that 97 percent of airline 
passengers will have access to clean, sanitary, and accessible mothers' 
rooms.
  The bill before us today also contains a provision recommended by the 
Federal Aviation Administration that will give airports that grow into 
small hubs sufficient time to comply with the law.
  The bill has been endorsed by nearly 60 international, national, 
regional, State, and Tribal organizations.
  Mr. Speaker, I include in the Record a letter of support from these 
organizations.
                                    Washington, DC, July 15, 2019.
       Dear Congresswoman Miller: We, the undersigned 
     organizations, thank you for introducing the Small Airports 
     Mothers' Rooms Act of 2019. By leading Congress to protect 
     and support breastfeeding, you demonstrate a commitment to 
     our nation's families. Breastfeeding is a proven primary 
     prevention strategy, building a foundation for life-long 
     health and wellness. Breastfeeding parents who choose or need 
     to travel should not have to struggle to find lactation 
     spaces--no matter the size of the airport, risking their milk 
     supply and thereby their ultimate breastfeeding success.
       Building on the success of the Friendly Airports for 
     Mothers (FAM) Act, already being implemented in airports 
     across the nation well ahead of the required 2021 
     implementation date, the Small Airport Mothers' Room Act of 
     2019 (H.R. 3362) would extend these provisions to small 
     airports. Small airports would have two additional years to 
     come into compliance, and would be able to use Airport 
     Improvement Program funds for the purpose of complying with 
     the new requirement.
       Small hub airports would be required to provide a private, 
     non-bathroom space in each terminal for breastfeeding people 
     to express breast milk. The space must be accessible to 
     persons with disabilities, available in each terminal 
     building after the security checkpoint, and include a place 
     to sit, a table or other flat surface, and an electrical 
     outlet.
       Human milk is the preferred and most appropriate ``First 
     Food,'' adapting over time to meet the changing needs of the 
     growing child. The United States Breastfeeding Committee 
     joins the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and 
     all major medical authorities in recommending that infants 
     get no food or drink other than human milk for their first 
     six months and continue to receive human milk for at least 
     the first 1-2 years of life.
       The evidence for the value of breastfeeding to children's 
     and mother's health is scientific, solid, and continually 
     being reaffirmed by new research. Compared with formula-fed 
     children, those who are breastfed have a reduced risk of ear, 
     skin, stomach, and respiratory infections; diarrhea; sudden 
     infant death syndrome; and necrotizing enterocolitis. In the 
     longer term, breastfed children have a reduced risk of 
     obesity, type 1 and 2 diabetes, asthma, and childhood 
     leukemia. Women who breastfed their children have a reduced 
     long-term risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and 
     breast and ovarian cancers.
       Breastfeeding also provides a range of benefits for 
     employers and society. A 2016 study of both maternal & 
     pediatric health outcomes and associated costs based on 2012 
     breastfeeding rates showed that, if 90% of infants were 
     breastfed according to medical recommendations, 3,340 deaths, 
     $3 billion in medical costs, and $14.2 billion in costs of 
     premature death would be prevented, annually!
       For all of these reasons, The Surgeon General's Call to 
     Action to Support Breastfeeding; the Institute of Medicine 
     report, Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention; and the 
     National Prevention Strategy each call for promotion of 
     breastfeeding-friendly environments. Yet in spite of this 
     tremendous recognition--and laws in 50 states that 
     specifically allow women to breastfeed in any public or 
     private location--lactating people continue to face barriers, 
     even harassment, when breastfeeding in public. And when away 
     from their babies, airports are just one of many public 
     places where they face challenges finding a clean, private 
     space to pump.
       We know that 80% of mothers intend to breastfeed, and 82.5% 
     actually do breastfeed at birth. Yet only 25% of U.S. infants 
     are still exclusively breastfed at six months of age. Most 
     families today choose to breastfeed, but a range of obstacles 
     can make it difficult to fit breastfeeding into parents' 
     lives.
       No matter what they're doing or where they are, 
     breastfeeding people need to express milk every few hours in 
     order to keep up their supply. Missing even one needed 
     pumping session can have several undesirable consequences, 
     including discomfort, leaking, inflammation and infection, 
     decreased supply, and ultimately, breastfeeding cessation. As 
     a result, returning to work often presents a significant 
     barrier to breastfeeding.
       Current federal law requires employers to provide nursing 
     mothers who are nonexempt employees a private, non-bathroom 
     location to express breast milk. Airport lactation spaces are 
     therefore an important step to support employers that need to 
     accommodate lactating travelers as well as lactating 
     employees of the airport.
       A growing number of airports have designated lactation 
     spaces, yet many lactating people still end up in restrooms 
     or on airport floors. Travelers rarely have control over how 
     long they are in transit, making accessible accommodations 
     within airports a critical priority. We are heartened to see 
     the implementation of the FAM Act in large and medium hub 
     airports and look forward to expanding similar requirements 
     to small airports. This expansion supports, promotes, and 
     protects breastfeeding in rural areas, further contributing 
     to national public health goals.
       The Small Airports Mothers' Rooms Act would help keep our 
     nation's families healthy by ensuring that breastfeeding 
     travelers and airport employees (in airports of all sizes) 
     have access to appropriate facilities. This is an important 
     step toward ensuring all families have the opportunity to 
     reach their personal breastfeeding goals.
       Again, we applaud your leadership in introducing the Small 
     Airports Mothers' Rooms Act and stand ready to help you 
     achieve its passage.
           Sincerely,


                               CO-SIGNERS

       International, National, & Tribal Organizations: 1000 Days; 
     Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine; American Academy of 
     Nursing; American Academy of Pediatrics; American 
     Breastfeeding Institute; American College of Nurse-Midwives; 
     American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; 
     Association of Maternal & Child Health Programs; Association 
     of State Public Health Nutritionists; Association of Women's 
     Health, Obstetric and Neonatal; Nurses; Baby-Friendly USA, 
     Inc.; CHEER (Center for Health Equity, Education, and; 
     Research); Every Mother, Inc.; HealthConnect One; Healthy 
     Children Project, Inc.
       Human Milk Banking Association of North America; 
     International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners; Lamaze 
     International; La Leche League Alliance for Breastfeeding 
     Education; La Leche League USA, MomsRising; National 
     Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners; National WIC 
     Association; Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Breastfeeding 
     Coalition; Reaching Our Sisters Everywhere, Inc.; United 
     States Breastfeeding Committee; United States Lactation 
     Consultant Association; Women-Inspired Systems' Enrichment.
       Regional, State, & Local Organizations: Alabama 
     Breastfeeding Committee; Alaska Breastfeeding Coalition; 
     Alimentacion Segura Infantil (ASI); Appalachian Breastfeeding 
     Network; Baobab Birth Collective; The Breastfeeding Center of 
     Pittsburgh; Breastfeeding Coalition of Delaware; 
     Breastfeeding Coalition of South Central Wisconsin; 
     BreastfeedLA; Coalition of Oklahoma Breastfeeding Advocates; 
     Colorado Breastfeeding Coalition; Colorado Lactation 
     Consultant Association; Connecticut Breastfeeding Coalition; 
     Wright State University, Boonshoft School of Medicine, 
     Department of Pediatrics; Indiana Breastfeeding Coalition.
       The Institute for the Advancement of Breastfeeding and 
     Lactation Education; Kentuckiana Lactation Improvement 
     Coalition; Lactation Improvement Network of Kentucky; Maine 
     State Breastfeeding Coalition; Maryland Breastfeeding 
     Coalition; Michigan Breastfeeding Network; Minnesota 
     Breastfeeding Coalition; Missouri Breastfeeding Coalition; 
     Montana State Breastfeeding Coalition; Mothers' Milk Bank 
     Northeast; New Hampshire Breastfeeding Task Force; New Mexico 
     Breastfeeding Task Force; New York City Breastfeeding 
     Leadership Council, Inc.; New York Statewide Breastfeeding 
     Coalition, Inc.; Ohio Breastfeeding Alliance; Southern Nevada 
     Breastfeeding Coalition; Wisconsin Breastfeeding Coalition; 
     Women's Rights and Empowerment Network.

  Mr. BOST. Mr. Speaker, H.R. 3362 is a good bill and will make it 
easier for mothers traveling by air.
  I want to thank the sponsor of this legislation, Mrs. Miller, for her 
leadership on this issue. I also want to thank Chairman DeFazio and 
Chairman Larsen of the Aviation Subcommittee for their bipartisan 
effort to bring this legislation to the floor.
  I urge all Members to support H.R. 3362.
  Mr. Speaker, I again want to thank Representative Miller for 
introducing

[[Page H10282]]

this important bill that ensures mothers are accommodated, whether they 
are traveling to or from large, medium, or small hub airports.
  As a father of two daughters and a grandfather of seven 
granddaughters, I believe it is vitally important that, when traveling, 
the stress level can be reduced tremendously if these rooms are 
available.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mrs. FLETCHER. Mr. Speaker, I, too, thank my colleague, Mrs. Miller, 
for introducing this bill. And I thank Chairman DeFazio and the 
subcommittee chairman, Mr. Larsen, for moving this bill through the 
process. It is important to families across America.
  And, once again, we are seeing bipartisan, commonsense legislation 
that is important to traveling families. For that reason, I urge my 
colleagues to support this bill, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentlewoman from Texas (Mrs. Fletcher) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 3362, as amended.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill, as amended, was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________