With the election behind us and the end of this session approaching, Congress has a lot to accomplish before the end of the year. In January, a new Congress will be sworn in so the remaining month of 2022 is the last chance for this version of Congress to pass their priorities. Luckily, the Congressional to-do list includes a number of ways to invest in family well-being as Congress finalizes an end-of-year legislative package. Below, we’ll discuss the to-do list and how you can get involved.
Reauthorizing the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.
One of the wisest investments we can make as a nation is in healthy pregnancies and early childhood development. That is why the MIECHV program is so critical. Evidence-based programs that help families provide proper nutrition, mental and behavioral wellbeing, and a loving home pay massive dividends throughout the life of those who are served. Unfortunately, this important bipartisan program is at risk.
If Congress doesn’t act by December 16th to reauthorize the program, it will expire, which would cause untold hardship for the program’s beneficiaries, and negatively affect recruitment and retention of qualified and effective home visitors. That is why Illuminate Colorado has joined the National Home Visiting Coalition and hundreds of other organizations around the country in our support of the bipartisan Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R. 8876). Read more about why Illuminate supports MIECHV reauthorization.
“Expiration of MIECHV would cause untold hardship for the program’s beneficiaries, and negatively affect recruitment and retention of qualified and effective home visitors.”
This week, the U.S. House will vote on a major bipartisan MIECHV reauthorization that would increase the program’s funding for the first time ever.
Now is the time to urge our Members of Congress to act, because home visiting works.
Take Action: The U.S. House is expected to vote on this critical bill this week, and we urge its passage without delay. Healthy pregnancies, infant and child health and development, and school readiness are too important for these critical services to slip through the cracks. Please contact your U.S. Representative and ask them to vote YES on HR 8876 with this easy-to-use Action Alert to help support the first ever expanded funding for the MIECHV program!
Reauthorizing the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA).
CAPTA provides federal funding to states and provides grants to public agencies and nonprofit organizations, including Indian Tribes and Tribal organizations. Through CAPTA reauthorization, the current 117th Congress has an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen community-based supports to families to prevent child abuse and neglect. The reauthorization bill emphasizes prevention and race equity and increases funding for Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention. Reauthorizing this program would be transformational for communities and families and greatly expand our capacity as a nation to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting families.
“Reauthorizing this program would be transformational for communities and families and greatly expand our capacity as a nation to prevent child abuse and neglect by supporting families.”
Enhancing Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).
Policies that strengthen family financial security can go a long way toward reducing childhood adversity and enhancing the relationships that help children thrive. Congress has the chance to enhance the Child Tax Credit (CTC) and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) in the remaining days of this session. The EITC and CTC are known to improve the health and well-being of families who receive them, and can even help kids do better in school and lead healthier, longer lives. Improvements to the CTC alone were largely responsible for cutting our national child poverty rate nearly in half in 2021, lifting 3 million children — including 1 million children under 6 — above the poverty line. However, the expiration of the CTC and EITC improvements, combined with high food costs and rising rents, sent many families with children back to experiencing significant material hardship, increasing child hunger and suffering.
“Improvements to the CTC alone were largely responsible for cutting our national child poverty rate nearly in half in 2021, lifting 3 million children — including 1 million children under 6 — above the poverty line.”
Take Action: If your organization takes positions on policy, join Illuminate in signing on to the joint letter led by First Focus Campaign for Children by filling out this form by 5 pm ET on Monday, December 5, 2022.
Fill out this form by 5 pm ET on Monday, December 5, 2022.
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