Bob supports many bills to ensure that children have the opportunity for a healthy, productive and successful life -- legislation that protects our children from violence and provides them with the education, health care, quality after-school programs, nutrition, and shelter that they need.
Among the many bills he supports is the Safe Schools Improvement Act that will make schools a safe place for children to learn and grow by reducing instances of harassment and bullying. Additionally, Bob recognizes the importance of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education to equip our next generation of leaders and innovators. This is why he supports legislation that gets qualified STEM teachers and curriculum in classrooms. He is also a co-sponsor of the Universal Prekindergarten Act which ensures that children gain the vital skills they need to be ready for elementary school and the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Preparedness Planning Act which would empower school districts in high-risk areas to bolster emergency preparedness training by establishing a program to award grants to local educational agencies located in areas at risk for terrorist attacks, natural disasters and public health emergencies.
In the 111th, Bob voted in support of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 which included the most significant improvements to child nutrition programs in more than 30 years. The new law (PL-111-296) will improve the nutritional quality of meals by raising the reimbursement rate for school lunches for school districts that comply with federal nutrition standards, increase access to more low-income children and protect U.S. taxpayers by strengthening program management and integrity. In the 112th, Bob will continue to support child nutrition by supporting legislative fixes to the law including restoration of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) which is set to terminate five months earlier than the previous authorization (November 2013). In addition, Bob recently sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack requesting that he issue school lunch regulations that ensure funding is used solely for expenses necessary to provide meals under the law.
As a long time supporter of Women's Rights, Bob has consistently co-sponsored legislation that aims to empower and protect women around the world. Bob is a proud co-sponsor of the International Women's Freedom Act, legislation that would model the International Religious Freedom Act which would establish a Commission on International Women's Rights and would expand the duties of the existing Office of International Women's Issues in the State Department.