Democratic members of the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees yesterday introduced separate bills to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program through 2019. Like the CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2009, both bills also would extend the CHIP contingency fund for states that experience a shortfall; the option for states covering eligible children before 1997 to access CHIP funding; the “express lane” option and SNAP waiver authority for streamlined eligibility determinations; outreach and enrollment grants; and CHIP obesity and quality demonstrations. In addition, the House bill would continue the program’s 23% “bump” in states’ matching rates and maintenance-of-effort requirement and make permanent the “express lane” eligibility option, among other provisions. The Protecting & Retaining Our Children’s Health Insurance Program Act (PRO-CHIP) was introduced by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) with Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Bob Casey (D-PA) and Harry Reid (D-NV). The CHIP Extension and Improvement Act was introduced by Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) with Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and 21 other co-sponsors.