BOSTON (AP) — Democratic members of Congress from Massachusetts and Rhode Island are calling on Congress to immediately extend funding for a popular federal children's health insurance initiative.

U.S. Sen. Edward Markey is planning a press conference Monday at Boston Children's Hospital to call for an immediate funding extension for the Children's Health Insurance Program, or CHIP.

Rhode Island's congressional delegation held an event Friday to demand the same thing.

Markey says more than 170,000 children in Massachusetts are covered by CHIP, which expired in September.

Rhode Island's delegation says more than 36,000 children and pregnant women rely on it in Rhode Island.

They blame Republicans for not reauthorizing it.

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, of Rhode Island, says Republicans in Congress are prioritizing tax breaks for the wealthy over health insurance for children.