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Public Statements

Issue Position: Children and Families

Issue Position

Location: Unknown

The Children's Defense Fund (CDF) Action Council listed me one of the Best U.S. Representatives for Children, citing my 100% rating on the CDF Congressional Scorecard. The well-being of America's children and families is of great importance to me.

One of the most devastating and heart-breaking problems confronting our community is the high rate of infant mortality across Memphis. The infant mortality rate in the United States is one of the highest of any industrialized nation in the world; furthermore, the city of Memphis has one of the highest rates in the country. During the 111th Congress, I authored a resolution that passed the House urging a stronger national commitment to ending infant mortality in our nation. I was pleased the H.R 3962, the Affordable Health Care for America Act included my legislation called the NEWBORN Act, which would create 15 national pilot programs in those cities, like Memphis, that are experiencing high rates of infant mortality. Currently, the United States ranks 30th in the world and my legislation would provide the resources to undertaking research and educational out reach programs aimed at helping women get the pre-natal care they need to deliver healthy babies.

In October, 2007, I hosted a Capitol Hill briefing on infant mortality, featuring research and medical professionals from Tennessee and across the nation who gathered to discuss this troubling issue. Brian Dobbins and Dr. Ramasubbareddy Dhanireddy from The MED and Erin Do and Jessica Gibson from the State of Tennessee Comptroller's Office provided different perspectives on the alarmingly high rate of infant mortality in Memphis and what must be done to lower it.

The Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) has been a leading health issue facing Congress. Congress created CHIP in 1997 with broad bipartisan support. CHIP provides health coverage for children in working families with parents who either can't afford insurance or hold jobs that lack health care benefits. I was proud to speak on the floor in support of the Children's Health Insurance Program. It is appalling that in 2007 my colleagues across the aisle rallied against a program that currently provides health coverage for over 6 million children and could ensure the health and wellbeing of an additional 4 million uninsured young people. I always have supported and will continue to support adequately funding CHIP. Health insurance for our nation's children is far too important to become a partisan issue.

I have cosponsored numerous pieces of legislation that support families and children:

* H.R. 460: Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2009
* H.R. 697: Family Building Act of 2009
* H.R. 702: PRE-K Act
* H.R. 913: Mentoring America's Children Act of 2009
* H.R. 1324: Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act of 2009
* H.R. 1933: A Child Is Missing Alert and Recovery Center Act
* H.R. 2003: Children's Hospitals Education Equity Act
* H.R. 2054: No Child Left Inside Act of 2009
* H.R. 2460: Healthy Families Act
* H.R. 3003: School-Based Health Clinic Establishment Act of 2009

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