Press Releases

DelBene Calls for Clean Reauthorization of Home Visiting Program

The Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program provides vital services and guidance to vulnerable parents so they raise healthy children.

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Washington, September 26, 2017 | comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) today called on Republicans to work with Democrats on a clean reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) Program to ensure states and communities can continue helping children and families thrive. This traditionally bipartisan program provides in-home help to ensure new parents can raise children who are healthy, happy and ready for school.

“I strongly support reauthorization of the Home Visiting program before it expires on September 30th. We know it has an incredible track record of success improving child and family outcomes in our most vulnerable communities,” DelBene said in a floor speech that can be seen HERE. “Unfortunately, Republicans have put forward a partisan bill — with reckless policy changes that are not supported by experts — and with only three legislative days remaining. It’s incredibly disappointing.”

The House passed H.R. 2824, which would reauthorize MIECHV through 2022, but impose policy changes that would reduce the number of states and communities that offer home visiting. Last year, more than 29,000 eligible families in Washington state were already unserved.

Among the policy changes made by Republicans were requiring states and tribal communities to match funding in order to receive federal dollars. States and tribes have said this requirement would result in home visiting programs shutting down or reducing services, particularly in areas already struggling economically. DelBene offered an amendment to remove the matching requirement on tribes, which passed the House. Her floor remarks can be found HERE.

However, when DelBene offered a second amendment to make the bill a clean reauthorizations, Republicans blocked it. Now H.R. 2824 heads to the Senate for further action. If they fail to act by Sept. 30, the authorization for MIECHV will expire.

DelBene serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over MIECHV.

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