Titus Statement on GOP’s Latest Attack on Children and Pregnant Women

Sep 27, 2017
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Today Rep. Dina Titus of Nevada’s First Congressional District released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2824, legislation to drastically underfund the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) initiative for at-risk families. Republicans have not increased funding for the program since 2013 and will continue to fund the program at that level for the next five years despite expected growth in need. The $400 million appropriation will only serve six percent of families eligible for the program and comes with new eligibility requirements that will make it more difficult to get help. 

“Republicans are putting targets on children, pregnant women, and families by ignoring the benefits that home visits from nurses and other medical professionals can provide. Instead of increasing funding to provide access to more who are at-risk, Republicans are ripping away a much needed and highly successful program and valuable safety net, and adding draconian eligibility requirements. This is wrong.”  

BACKGROUND

MIECHV has provided over 2 million home visits since its creation in 2010. In FY2015, the MIECHV program served 145,561 individual parents and children and provided 912,119 home visits.

An eligible family includes (1) a woman who is pregnant, and the father of the child if he is available; (2) a parent or primary caregiver of a child, including grandparents or other relatives of the child, and foster parents, who are serving as the parent’s primary caregiver from birth to entry into kindergarten; and (3) a noncustodial parent who has an ongoing relationship with, and at times provides physical care for, the child from birth to entry into kindergarten. Jurisdictions must give priority to serving eligible families who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Reside in communities that are in need of home visiting services, as identified in a
  • needs assessment conducted by the jurisdiction;
  • Are low-income;
  • Include a pregnant woman under the age of 21;
  • Have a history of child abuse or neglect or have had interactions with child welfare services;
  • Have a history of substance abuse or need substance abuse treatment;
  • Have users of tobacco products in the home;
  • Have children with low student achievement;
  • Have children with developmental delays or disabilities; or
  • Individuals who are serving, or formerly served, in the Armed Forces, including such families that have members of the Armed Forces who have had multiple deployments outside of the United States.
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