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.

H.R. 6655 has bipartisan support and passed the House by an overwhelming 330-77 majority two weeks ago. It now has to clear the Senate. Despite equally overwhelming support in that chamber, an obscure closing-day’s Senate procedure requires that not a single senator object to the bill—otherwise it fails. That’s right: even if 99 of 100 senators support H.R. 6655, a single objection kills the bill. We can’t let that happen.

As we prepare this memo, it appears that no Democratic senator opposes the measure. It also appears that one or more GOP senators are hinting they may object to the bill—because of the bill’s cost [$2 million a year for two years is needed to fund a national commission charged with developing a strategy for  ending child deaths], or for ideological reasons [child abuse isn’t the government’s business, etc.].

It is not yet known which GOP senators might object so we are asking all child advocates—all of you reading this e-mail– to call their Republican senators this morning [except Maine’s Snowe and Collins, both co-sponsors of the bill] at (202) 224-3121 and urge them to support H.R. 6655. If they have questions—very unlikely—that go beyond the info you have on the subject, just e-mail us and we will respond to their question.

That’s it. With a bit of luck and calls from you, we may yet get the 112th Congress to adopt a bill that actually helps vulnerable kids. Thanks for your help.

P.S. The new 113th Congress will be sworn in tomorrow. It may or may not be inclined to act on this bill sometime in the future should it be reintroduced. In the meantime, thousands more children will die from abuse in their own homes.