The Protect Our Kids Act creates a bipartisan, two-year Commission to Eliminate Child Abuse and Neglect Fatalities, consisting of 12 members who will be appointed by the President and congressional leaders. The commission will work together to evaluate current programs and prevention efforts, and recommend a comprehensive national strategy to reduce and prevent child abuse and neglect fatalities.
In a rare display of bipartisanship, the Senate joined the House last night in its desire to help children by voting passage of H.R. 6655, An Act to Protect our Kids. Following a 330-77 vote in the House, the Senate voted unanimous consent to support the bill. The legislation, signed into law today by President Obama, creates a new, two-year national commission to develop a wide-ranging strategy for ending the upwards of 2500 child abuse and neglect deaths a year.
Just 3 weeks ago the bill was given no chance for adoption this year, but in a surprise move, in cooperation with primary House sponsor Lloyd Doggett [D-TX], House Ways and Means Committee Chair David Camp [R-MI] and subcommittee Chair Erik Paulsen [R-WI] called for a hearing on the bill in mid-December. The bill then moved rapidly through the House, at which point the primary Senate sponsors—Kerry [D-MA], Baucus [D-MT], Shaheen [D-NH], Snowe [R-ME], and Collins [R-ME], shepherded the bill through the last day of a fractious 112th Congress. (For a full list of sponsors, please see below.) Hopefully an omen of things to come in 2013, the new law will spotlight the needs of desperate children and families, and will present the Administration and lawmakers with a multi-disciplinary approach for addressing them.
Will the Senate Vote TODAY to Help Stop 2000 Child Abuse Deaths?
Lost in the closing drama of the ‘cliff’ debate, a little publicized bill, H.R. 6655, An Act to Protect Our Kids, is still alive and could help stop child abuse fatalities—if it receives unanimous consent from every Senator TODAY. The fate of the bill is expected to be decided in the Senate between noon and 1:30 TODAY just prior to the 112th Congress fading into history. A quick call from advocates around the country can help win passage.
The New York Times yesterday published a Letter to the Editor from ECM (see below), which decried what was called “a grotesque misuse of government power,” described in the Dec. 12 article, “For Lesser Crimes, Rethinking Life Behind Bars.” Prison sentences disproportionate to the crimes committed are causing collateral damage to tens of thousands of children. Please take time to read the Times article as well as the chapter on Prisons in ECM’s 3rd edition of Homeland Insecurity:
Jennifer Jacobs with the Des Moines Register lists 20 ways Iowans will be affected if we all fall off the fiscal cliff, which she has downgraded to a fiscal porch. Nonetheless, those 20 ways are adaptable to the other 49 states. Not only is this a helpful read if you’re struggling with the entire sequester issue and what it means, it could be turned into a state specific article by reporters in your state. Why not send it along with a request for them to do just that?!
Endowment for Health President Steve Rowe makes a great case for taking a long-term view when it comes to health and the economy. While he talks specifically about New Hampshire, his overall point is applicable to all states:
“I emphasized the need to take the long view when thinking of health and the need to focus more attention on the social and economic determinants of health - the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work. I emphasized the need to take the long view when thinking of health and the need to focus more attention on the social and economic determinants of health - the conditions in which people are born, grow, live and work.”
If you didn’t get a chance to peruse this document, please give it a read. It’s an easy-to-understand breakdown of the various budget scenarios that could transpire at the end of this Congressional session or the beginning of the next and how our nation’s children would be affected by each of those scenarios. Feel free to send this link to your constituents or download it for hard-copy distribution.
Not only making the case that children should be held harmless in budget negotiations but actually calling for increased investments in children is ECM’s “Homeland Insecurity,” 4th edition. A colorful booklet with facts, figures, and photos, “Homeland Insecurity” is available in hard-cover and multiple copies free of charge for your conference goers or trainees or clients. Just let us know how they’ll be used, by which organization, when, and where. We need a street address for delivery—no P.O. Boxes, please.
Allow at least 10 business days for us to process your order. We will be closed between Christmas and New Year.
On Wednesday, November 28, from 6-7:30 pm, ECM is honored to be holding a fundraising reception in Alexandria, Virginia, featuring former United States Senator George Mitchell. Click here for more information about this event.