Agency Leaders Respond About Impact of Budget Cuts

In January, House Appropriations Committee Ranking Member Rosa DeLauro sent letters to Federal agency heads asking for information about how the agencies would be impacted by the House Republicans’ proposal to cap spending at the FY 2022 funding levels. “The American people and Members of Congress deserve to know the real impact this policy would

First Focus Releases Children’s Budget Book

First Focus on Children hosted their annual Children’s Budget Summit on October 6th, 2022. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) welcomed the summit and discussed the importance of the work being done on the child welfare front and the commitment he is making in this realm, focusing particularly on youth mental health, a priority for the Senate

Affordable Care Act Increased Insurance Rates for Black Americans

With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, the percentage of Black Americans who lack medical insurance has fallen significantly with the percentage of Black Americans who were uninsured decreasing by 8 percentage points from 2011 to 2019. Unfortunately, when compared to White populations, percentages of Black Americans uninsured are still comparatively high. Further, this

Finance Committee Begins Series on Mental Health & Substance Use Service Reforms

On Tuesday, February 8, 2022, the Senate Finance Committee started their series of hearings on mental health with Protecting Youth Mental Health: Part I – An Advisory and Call to Action. This series of hearings will focus on five areas of behavioral health: youth mental health, mental health workforce, parity between mental and physical health,

Finance Committee Considers ACF, ACYF Leads, Emphasis on Families First

On Wednesday, February 9, 2022, the Senate Finance Committee considered the nominations to fill two critical positions at the Department of Health and Humans Services: the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Administration on Children Youth and Families (ACYF).  Rebecca Jones-Gaston was nominated by President Biden for the ACYF position on November 18,

FY 2022 Appropriations Update: Another CR But Deal Reached

Last week the House of Representatives approved a fourth continuing resolution (CR) with the hope that it will allow a deal and eventual enactment of 12 appropriations for the fiscal year that started on October 1, 2021.  Not long after the House action, the top four appropriators announced an agreement that will allow appropriators to

Vice President Harris Hosts Event for EITC/CTC Day of Action

On February 8th, 2022, Vice President Kamala Harris, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, and American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling hosted a press event for the Child Tax Credit and Earned Income Tax Credit Day of Action. Sperling opened the event by giving the history of the Child Tax Credit and an overview of

Support for Pregnant and Post-Partum Women Who Use Substances

On February 3, 2022, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a series of new reports from the Office of the Assistance Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) that “highlight how pregnant and postpartum women who use substances and their children can benefit from evidence-based prevention and treatment strategies.” Based on a review

(SAMHSA) Grant Program Opens

These reports are being released while Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is beginning to accept applications for Services Grant Program for Residential Treatment for Pregnant and Postpartum Women. This $10 million grant program will provide pregnant and postpartum women and their children with comprehensive substance use treatment and recovery support services across

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