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Senate deal would fund children's health insurance, community health centers

The Senate budget deal released Wednesday would fund the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for an additional four years and community health centers for two years. 

A stopgap funding measure passed by Congress earlier this month only funded CHIP for six years, but the spending deal announced Wednesday would tack on another four years of funding. 

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Funding for both programs expired in September, but Congress still hasn't addressed funding for community health centers, which serve 26 million low-income Americans.  

Both parties generally support the centers, but the debate has been caught up in broader budget battles. 

The two year extension for community health centers amounts to about $8 billion in funding. 

Due to the lapse in funding, some centers have had to implement hiring freezes, cancel or delay plans to renovate or expand, lay off staff or tap into reserves. 

The spending bill passed by the House Tuesday would also fund the community health centers for two years.