Senate Murray Praises HELP Committee for Advancing Legislation to Support Children and Families
HELP Committee advanced the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act –which included the Adoption Opportunities Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act – with bipartisan support
Murray: “…there is more work to be done to protect vulnerable communities across this country. I hope we can build on the steps taken today and continue making progress.”
Washington D.C.— Today, Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, praised Committee passage of the reauthorization of the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which includes the Adoption Opportunities Act and the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act. At the markup, Senator Murray applauded the legislation as an important step forward to prevent child abuse and neglect, facilitate adoption, and support families and individuals experiencing domestic violence and dating violence, and urged the Committee to continue its bipartisan work on behalf of families and children across the country.
“While I’m grateful we’re discussing these bills today—which are a step forward for families—I know that there is more work to be done to protect vulnerable communities across this country,” said Senator Murray in her remarks. “I hope we can build on the steps taken today and continue making progress.”
The package of legislation which includes CAPTA Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S. 2971) introduced by Senators Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) and Doug Jones (D-Ala.); The Adoption Opportunities Reauthorization Act of 2019 (S.2969), introduced by Senators Jones and Isakson; and a reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, led by Senators Bob Casey (D.Pa.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Senators Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.). More information on the package of bills is available below:
- CAPTA Reauthorization: Provides funding to local communities and States to prevent and reduce child abuse and neglect. CAPTA will help States and community-based organizations improve coordination and invest in research in order to collect critical data, and support programs that provide primary prevention services for children at-risk of child abuse and neglect. Additionally, CAPTA will support community-based prevention programs such as those in Washington State that provide coaching for parents, services for families with trauma related to violence or homelessness, and support for new parents in rural communities.
- Adoption Opportunities Act: Supports programs to facilitate adoptions for children that face additional barriers to adoption, including older youth, racial and ethnic minorities, children with disabilities, and youth who are overrepresented in the child welfare system.
- Family Violence Prevention and Services Act: Reauthorizes and improves programs to prevent and address family violence, domestic violence, and dating 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.
Senator Murray has long been a champion of ensuring protections for children and families in the Senate. This year alone, Senator Murray has reintroduced legislation to address economic barriers for domestic violence survivors, introduced legislation to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, introduced the Child Care for Working Families Act, introduced legislation to support foster youth, and more.
In addition to the CAPTA Reauthorization Act, the Committee also advanced the Child Care Protection Improvement Act, to help states provide quality child care, the NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act, to build research capacity of minority-serving institutions, and Title VII Reauthorization, to strengthen the health care workforce, including for children who need pediatric specialty care and older adults. The Committee passed all of the legislation with bipartisan support. The Committee also considered the nomination of R. Crosby Kemper III to be Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
Full text of Senator Murray’s prepared remarks below:
“Thank you Chairman Alexander. I’m pleased that we could be here today.”
“The bills that we are moving forward are a testament to the commitment of my colleagues to deliver legislation to help families across the country. As we head into the holiday season—a season of thanks—I would like to take a moment to acknowledge you and our colleagues here today and the hard work they have devoted to these bills.”
“But first, I would be remiss not to take a minute to recognize Senator Isakson at his last HELP Committee meeting. I would like to thank him for working with me on so many important issues over the years workforce training programs, early childhood education, addressing the opioid crisis and of course over-the-counter drug reform which passed the Senate earlier this week. Senator Isakson, you will be missed on this Committee and in this Chamber and we thank you for your decades of service.”
[Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA)]
“At today’s hearing, first, we’ll consider the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act.”
“This critical bill will strengthen programs and services for some of our most vulnerable children and families who are at-risk of child abuse and neglect by helping states and community-based organizations improve coordination and invest in research critical data, and primary prevention services for children at-risk of child abuse and neglect.”
“This reauthorization of CAPTA will fund crucial services that strengthen families and reduce abuse and neglect, including programs in Washington state, like coaching for parents, programs to assist families with trauma related to violence or homelessness, and programs for rural communities to support new parents.”
“So I’m glad that today we are taking some initial important steps.”
“I’d like to thank Senators Isakson and Jones for their hard work on this bill. I look forward to continuing to work to improve the bill as it moves through the process.”
[Adoption Opportunities Reauthorization Act]
“And I’m glad CAPTA also includes the Adoption Opportunities Act. This reauthorization will support programs that facilitate adoptions for children who face barriers to adoption, including older youth, youth of color, children with disabilities, and youth who are overrepresented in the child welfare system.”
“This legislation will provide critical resources and training to help make it easier for parents to adopt.”
“Thank you again to Senators Jones and Isakson for their work on this important issue.”
[Family Violence Prevention and Services Act (FVPSA)]
“In the same package, we will also consider a reauthorization of the Family Violence Prevention and Services Act, or FVPSA.”
“Countless families and children across the country are affected by domestic violence. FVPSA is the only federal funding source dedicated to providing support to domestic violence shelters and programs.”
“This funding supports life-saving services to protect against—and help families recover from—domestic violence and abuse. Many of my colleagues here today have been instrumental in ensuring this reauthorization was included in the markup today, including: Senators Casey and Murkowski, who introduced the Family Violence Prevention and Services Improvement Act, Senator Klobuchar and Senator Grassley.”
“I’d also like to specifically thank Senator Murkowski for her work to support and uplift tribal women and communities in this legislation. I know this is important to her as well as to Senator Smith on CAPTA and thank them for their work on this critical issue. I know this is important to her as well as Senator Smith and I thank them for their work on this critical issue.”
“I look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Alexander to see what else we can do to ensure that survivors from all communities have the support they need.”
[Child Care Protection Improvement Act]
“We will also consider the Child Care Protection Improvement Act, thanks to the great work of Senators Burr and Van Hollen.”
“Quality child care is critical to so many families across the country so it’s truly great to advance a bill that will assist states in implementing new child care staff requirements which will help ensure children can learn and thrive in safe and supportive environments.”
[NIMHD Research Endowment Revitalization Act of 2019]
I’d also like to recognize Senators Jones and Cassidy for their work on legislation regarding a program at the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities.
“The NIMHD has been an important resource for research to help tackle health disparities and challenges facing communities of color. And the legislation we are moving forward today would help minority-serving research institutions like historically black colleges and universities continue to build their endowments so they can build up their capacity to conduct research, compete for research grants, and support a more diverse and representative career pipeline for researchers.”
[Title VII Reauthorization]
“We are also going to be voting on legislation to reauthorize Title VII of the Public Health Service Act, which includes so many important programs for supporting our health care workforce, addressing health care provider shortages, and increasing access to care, especially in rural and medically underserved communities.”
“This reauthorization includes some valuable steps from several of my colleagues including a provision from Senator Smith to prioritize the needs of rural and tribal communities, one from Senators Reed and Cassidy to encourage doctors to pursue specialties and subspecialties in pediatrics to support care for some of our youngest patients, and another from Senators Collins and Casey to address the needs of some of our oldest patients by bolstering the geriatric workforce.”
“These are all important steps and I’m glad we were able to include them in this reauthorization.”
[Nomination of Crosby Kemper III, Director, IMLS]
“I also want to briefly mention the nomination of Crosby Kemper III to be Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Supporting our nation’s museums and libraries is crucial to communities across the country.”
[Palliative Care and Hospice Education and Training Act]
“Lastly, while I’m disappointed some very last minute concerns have prevented us from moving forward on legislation to support training health care professionals in palliative care and hospice, I greatly appreciate Senator Baldwin’s work and continued leadership on this issue, and believe we can continue making progress on this front.”
“We need to make sure families have access to palliative care, and patients are empowered to make the choices that are right for them.”
“While I’m grateful we’re discussing these bills today—which are a step forward for families—I know that there is more work to be done to protect vulnerable communities across this country. I hope we can build on the steps taken today and continue making progress.”
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