On Tuesday, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2824, the Increasing Opportunity through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act by a vote of 214-209.

The bill would reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program for five years at its current funding level of $400 million and include other policy changes to the program. Four amendments were considered on the House floor. Three were agreed to, and one failed (an amendment from Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) to strike employment and earnings as a measure of self-sufficiency).

The amendments passed:

  • Allow states to take into account staffing, community resources, and other requirements when determining how to operate at least one home visiting model in communities in need of services
  • Remove the requirement that tribal entities and organizations match federal funds
  • Require the Health Resources and Services Administration to use the most accurate federal poverty data available for each jurisdiction in its grant allocations

A motion to recommit the bill and simply extend MIECHV for five years was also defeated.

With House action on the bill complete, the bill moves on to the Senate, where another MIECHV reauthorization bill was introduced last week. The Strong Families Act (S. 1829) was introduced by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and has nine bipartisan cosponsors.

The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities is in support of the Senate’s bipartisan bill.

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