Opioid Crisis Response Act Amendments to H.R.6: SUPPORT for Patients and Communities Act

As previously reported on Sept. 17, the Senate passed an amended (SA 4013) House bill (H.R.6) sending it to the House. Since, House and Senate staff members have been working through the details. It is our understanding that an agreement has been reached and the Senate version trauma provisions outlined in the Alliance’s issue brief Trauma-Informed Care Provisions Should Be a Priority in Response to Opioid Crisis are included. A vote is expected soon.  

Tax Reform 2.0

Tax Reform 2.0 was on the docket for House consideration this week with the three-bill legislative package expected to clear the House by the end of the week. The bills aim to make recently enacted tax cuts for individuals permanent, create Universal Savings Accounts, and expand retirement and education accounts. Should the tax package make its way through the House, it is expected to fall flat in the Senate.  

Farm Bill/Nutrition

Negotiations continued this week on the Farm Bill; however, it is very likely that Congress will not take up a conferenced farm bill until after the current 2014 bill expires Sept. 30. With a continuing resolution in place, it is expected that staff at the table work out differences between the two bills (House and Senate Farm bills) while members of the House head home this weekend, where they will likely remain through the mid-term elections.  

Follow Up on Sept. 27 Alliance Federal Policy Update Webinar

As promised, we reached out to get specific updates on current legislation, specifically:

S.2945 - Housing Choice Voucher Mobility Demonstration Act of 2018: Introduced May 24, 2018 by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) requests to authorize the secretary of Housing and Urban Development to carry out a housing choice voucher mobility demonstration to encourage families receiving the voucher assistance to move to lower-poverty areas and expand access to opportunity areas. Since introduction the bill has gained five (5) additional co-sponsors: Chris Van Hollen, (D-Md.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.).At present, the bill sits with the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. We will provide updates as available.  

S. 3231 – Task Force on the Impact of the Affordable Housing Crisis Act of 2018: Introduced Jul 18, 2018 by Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) requests the formation of an Affordable Housing Task Force to evaluate and quantify the impact that a lack of affordable housing has on other areas of life and life outcomes; evaluate and quantify the costs incurred by other federal, state, and local programs due to a lack of affordable housing; and make recommendations to Congress on how to use affordable housing to improve the effectiveness of other Federal programs and improve life outcomes.  

The Alliance added S. 3231 to its Public Policy Action Center and appreciates those who responded, sending nearly 60 letters of support. As of Friday morning, we were unable to obtain an update on the status of the bill, but will provide updates as they come in. Please watch for updates.

Families First Prevention Services Act

Here are the links to the Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) documents discussed in the Federal Policy Update webinar:  

Organizational Shifts in Families First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA) and Child Welfare Trends: Thought Progression Exercises for Organizations Impacted by FFPSA

By Tom Woll and Peter Metzger 

Summary of Family First Prevention Services Act

By the Alliance and Public Consulting Group (PCG)  

With October approaching, we anticipate more activity around the implementation of FFPSA. Last week, the House Ways and Means Committee released written responses to questions raised during the late summer FFPSA oversight hearing.  

Also last week, Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.) sent a letter to Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar urging the inclusion of older youth in the implementation of FFPSA as a means to assist the 23,000 youth who age out of foster care in achieving their full potential. The letter is signed by 21 additional senators and includes requests to provide flexibility for reimbursements and clarity on specific terms, e.g., promising, supported, and well supported relating to evidence-based practices. While the request is specific to older youth, these requests are similar to those the Alliance previously provided to HHS.  

Public Charge

On Saturday, the Department of Homeland Security released a 400-page proposed rule on the Public Charge. The rule will soon be published in the Federal Register, opening a 60-day comment period. When the comment period opens, the Alliance will collect comments from the network and submit accordingly.  

Under the current policy, only cash assistance (i.e., Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and comparable state or local programs) and government-funded long-term institutional care are counted to determine the extent an immigrant may become a “public charge.” The propose rule aims to expand the list of programs that may be considered beyond cash and long-term care to include some health care, nutrition and housing programs. Additionally, changes to income requirements for the sponsor and immigrant applicant apply. Help the Alliance understand your interest and the potential impact of the public charge rule by emailing the Alliance Office of Public Policy and Mobilization. Your input will help us frame any possible network actions.  

Recently Proposed Legislation

This week the Alliance has inquired about, is incubating positions/statements for, and wants to share the following:  

Responsibility for Unaccompanied Minors Act

The Alliance prepared a national sign-on letter to address recently released findings of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. The report brings forward 1,488 unaccounted for immigrant children who had been placed with sponsors by HHS. The Alliance will continue to watch this legislation and engage the network as necessary.  

If you have a position or interest in any of these listed, or there are others on you radar, email the Alliance Public Policy Office.