Congressional authorization for the Maternal, Infant and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program (MIECHV) expired on September 30th. If lawmakers don’t act, programs and providers across the country that rely on MIECHV will soon be forced to drastically cut home visiting services, as funding from the current authorization will begin to run out.

It is our hope that Congress will work together over the coming weeks to reauthorize this vital program for children and families who need it most.

What is currently happening in Congress?

In the Senate:

On September 19th, Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Bob Casey (D-PA), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), introduced S. 1829 to extend the MIECHV program. Since its introduction, S. 1829 has continued to gain bipartisan cosponsors, now totaling 26 on both sides of the aisle.

On October 26th, the Senate Finance Committee released a “Discussion Draft” of Medicare and Other Health and Human Services Extender Provisions. Section 113 of this document is the extension of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program. The discussion draft extends MIECHV funding through fiscal year 2019. Extenders are a common way Congress is able to continue expired programs without new legislation. An extension of MIECHV as part of an Extenders bill will leave the program unchanged, both in funding and policy, for a set period of time – likely 2 years.

In the House:

On September 26th, a bipartisan majority of the House passed legislation (H.R. 2824) to reauthorize the MIECHV program.

MIECHV reauthorization should be a top priority for Congress, and FFYF is hopeful that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will come together to ensure this vital program continues to serve vulnerable families for years to come.