What We’re Watching in Congress – October 2019

Congress returns to Washington D.C. on October 15 following a two-week district work period. Below are a few things we are monitoring here at 1,000 Days:

Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act

Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) recently introduced the Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act (S. 2501), which strengthens the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). CACFP provides nutritious food to many children in childcare settings, helping working parents to provide their children with critical healthy meals during the first 1,000 days of life and beyond. Senator Casey’s proposal increases reimbursements to childcare providers to improve nutrition standards and add an additional optional meal for children who spend long periods of time in childcare. 1,000 Days will continue to support legislation that ensures children get the nutrition they need to grow and thrive.

Committee progress on legislation to support moms, babies, and their families

Two 1,000 Days priority bills are nearing important committee consideration:

  • The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (H.R. 2694) may soon be given a hearing, an important step in advancing the legislation to the floor. This bipartisan bill requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to their pregnant employees and protect those employees from retaliation in the workplace. 1,000 Days is monitoring the progress of this bill closely and will continue to advocate key legislators for its passage.
  • Additionally, the House Committee on Ways and Means is considering holding a hearing on the Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMILY) Act (R. 1195). This is an opportunity for Members to show their support for comprehensive paid family and medical leave that supports all workers and their families. 1,000 Days is working closely with partners and lawmakers to emphasize the lifesaving potential of paid leave for moms, babies and their families.

More time to come to an agreement on government funding

Last month, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution extending federal funding until November 21. Included in this package were critical reauthorizations of many programs impacting the health of moms and babies, including Community Health Centers and the Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. 1,000 Days will continue to urge Members to prioritize funding for programs that help children everywhere get the healthiest start to life.