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On January 22, Congress passed and the President signed into law a three week extension of the Continuing Resolution and reopened the federal government. The good news in the package is a six-year extension of funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), ending the 114 day wait about the future of this bipartisan program that has been stuck in a political quagmire. The nearly 9 million children on CHIP are now assured of CHIP funding, and we all must urge that an additional extension be added. The bad news is that enormous pressures on other children, youths and young adults continue to grow. The failure to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA) leaves nearly 800,000 young adults, who came to our country as children, and some of them with children now, at risk of deportation to countries they don’t know at all. There are many other children and families too who continue to be negatively impacted because of inaction on funding for the Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV), the Community Health Centers Program, and other important health programs; and the failure to provide post-hurricane relief to those continuing to struggle in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Texas and Florida. Congress does not have to wait until February 8th to act again. Congress must fund this help for children and youths now!
A child or teen dies from gun violence every 3 hours and 8 minutes in the United States, but in December the House of Representatives passed The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act of 2017 that would weaken states’ abilities to protect their residents from gun violence. The bill would force each state to recognize every other state’s laws that allow individuals to carry concealed firearms, even when those states have far weaker standards on who can carry a concealed weapon. For example, if this law were to pass a person from Mississippi, which does not even require a permit to carry a concealed weapon, could travel with his weapon concealed to New York or California, both states that require applicants for concealed carry permits to first demonstrate good cause or justifiable need to carry the weapon This bill would be a disaster for child and public safety and must be stopped in the Senate. Tell your Senators that you oppose the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act. We will send an additional update if this dangerous legislation begins moving forward in the Senate. Continue your good work to Protect Children, Not Guns in your own communities too.
How have you or someone you know been affected by child poverty, budget cuts to federal programs supporting poor and low-income families, or harsh school discipline policies or racial bias and ended up in the juvenile justice system? Use the power of your story to make a difference. Congress listens to stories, and if we would like to share yours, we will follow up to ask permission.