12.12.19

Alexander: Health Committee Approves Legislation to Help States Prevent Child Abuse and Ensure Safety and Welfare of Children

Committee also approved legislation to address pediatric and geriatric health workforce shortages

“This is a very diverse committee that is known for reaching agreement on issues that are consequential to the American people. I am glad that we have continued that record this year. So far the Committee has passed 13 bills, three of which have become law – I anticipate there will be more before the year is over. We approved 46 nominees, 39 whom have been confirmed by the full Senate. And we held 13 hearings on topics that impact the lives of every American, including e-cigarettes and vaping; the importance of vaccines; and updating the Higher Education Act to ensure students are earning degrees worth their time and money." 

WASHINGTON, December 12, 2019 — The Senate health committee today approved legislation that helps states prevent child abuse and ensure the safety and welfare of children and families.

“I often suggest Tennesseans look at Washington, D.C., as if it were a split-screen television,” Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said. “This week, on one side, you had hearings on impeachment and the Department of Justice’s Inspector General report. On the other side, today, the Senate health committee approved legislation to help states ensure the safety and welfare of children and legislation to fill shortages in the pediatric and geriatric health care workforce.”

Alexander also today commended the committee’s record of achieving results at the final markup of the year:

“This is a very diverse committee that is known for reaching agreement on issues that are consequential to the American people,” Alexander said. “I am glad that we have continued that record this year. This year the Committee has passed 13 bills, three of which have become law so far – I anticipate there will be more before the year is over. We approved 46 nominees, 39 whom have been confirmed by the full Senate. And we held 13 hearings on topics that impact the lives of every American, including e-cigarettes and vaping; the importance of vaccines; and updating the Higher Education Act to ensure students are earning degrees worth their time and money.”

The Committee passed the following bills today:

CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.2971) – Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.): This package of legislation reauthorizes the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act – the federal legislation that gives states funding to prevent and respond to child abuse – and also includes: 

o   The Adoption Opportunities Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.2969), from Senators Jones and Isakson that supports programs to facilitate adoptions for children that have a harder time being adopted; and

o   The Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, led by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.V.), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) which reauthorizes programs to prevent and address family violence, including the domestic violence hotline, research and awareness campaigns about domestic violence, and prevention activities, as well as funding for shelter and supportive services for victims of family violence. 

Title VII Reauthorization (S.2997): This package of legislation aims to ensure we have the health care workforce we need and includes:

o   The Geriatrics Workforce Improvement Act (S. 299), from Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.), to ensure we have enough health care workers to treat our aging population; and

o   The Investment in Tomorrow’s Pediatric Health Care Workforce Act (S. 2433), from Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Bill Cassidy (R-La.), to incentivize doctors to fill shortages in pediatric specialties, such as pediatric cardiologists or rheumatologists.

Child Care Protection Improvement Act of 2019 (S. 2683) – Senators Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.): This bill will establish a task force to assist states in implementing requirements for child care staff. 

NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2019 (S.2927) – Senators Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.): This bill will help minority-serving academic institutions, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, foster research at their academic institutions by clarifying eligibility for the research endowments program at the National Institutes of Health.

The Committee also approved Crosby Kemper III, to serve as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. 

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