Erik “I Love Awards” Paulsen Fails to receive Champions For Children award (AGAIN)

Ponder this as you read on : Erik Paulsen promotes himself for being named by multiple groups as the “Craft Brewers Champion”;
what if he focused on children instead ?

Let’s start with the positive by congratulating Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) as a 2017 Champions of Children for actively working and trying to improve the lives of our nation’s children through public policy change.

Let’s also recognize the House Republicans who were named 2017 Defenders of Children for focusing on, supporting, raising their voices, and attaching their name to legislation that would improve the lives of our nation’s children and actively oppose legislation that would harm kids :
Mike Coffman (R-CO)
Ryan Costello (R-PA)
Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
Will Hurd (R-TX)
John Katko (R-NY)
Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
Steve Stivers (R-OH)

Hmmm … all these Republicans getting recognition yet the #MNTrumpTrio is missing ?
And this award is not exclusively given to Republicans – a number of Democrats including Erik Paulsen’s #CupidOnTheHill bipartisan Valentine, Ron Kind got one.

Yet, considering that 80 Representatives were given these recognitions, it is kinda sad that more Republicans were not recognized.
Sad too, that Dave Reichert, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Ryan Costello are retiring after this term.
And it isn’t the first time that Erik Paulsen and Tom Emmer did not get this recognition … the awards date back to 2011 and although other Minnesotans have been recognized, Paulsen and Emmer have not earned this distinction.

The recognition is based on THE FIRST FOCUS CAMPAIGN FOR CHILDREN LEGISLATIVE SCORECARD, which is based key votes, bill introductions and cosponsorships, and other actions where lawmakers have put their name out there in support of children across an array of issue areas.

The Key Votes :

To pass the American Health Care Act, which would have amended the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid in ways that would have negatively impacted children’s health coverage (H.R. 1628).
HOUSE ROLL CALL VOTE 256 – HEALTH POLICY
FFCC Position: OPPOSE (Passed by a vote of 217-213)
Tom Emmer Position : SUPPORT
Jason Lewis Position : SUPPORT
Erik Paulsen Position : SUPPORT

The Verify Act (H.R. 2581).
The legislation created new barriers to health coverage for both citizens and immigrants by imposing new verification measures that would delay coverage for those eligible for health insurance coverage.
HOUSE ROLL CALL VOTE 306 – IMMIGRATION POLICY
FFCC Position: OPPOSE (Passed by a vote of 238-184)
Tom Emmer Position : SUPPORT
Jason Lewis Position : No Vote
Erik Paulsen Position : SUPPORT

Continuing Community Health and Medical Professional Programs to Improve Our Nation and Keep Insurance Delivery Stable Act of 2017 or the “CHAMPION KIDS Act of 2017” (H.R. 3922)
On a motion to recommit with instructions to extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
HOUSE ROLL CALL VOTE 605 – HEALTH POLICY
FFCC Position: SUPPORT (Failed by a vote of 187-231)
Tom Emmer Position : OPPOSE
Jason Lewis Position : OPPOSE
Erik Paulsen Position : OPPOSE

On passage of the Community Health and Medical Professionals Improve Our Nation (CHAMPION) Act of 2017, which included an extension of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
HOUSE ROLL CALL VOTE 606 – HEALTH POLICY
FFCC Position: SUPPORT (Passed by a vote of 242-174)
Tom Emmer Position : SUPPORT
Jason Lewis Position : SUPPORT
Erik Paulsen Position : SUPPORT

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And the legislative proposals that First Focus deems important (both to be supported and opposed)

H.R. 173 – MIDDLE CLASS HEALTH BENEFITS TAX REPEAL ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would repeal the “Cadillac Tax,” which is a 40 percent excise tax on the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage that exceeds a certain and arbitrarily-defined premium benefit threshold for self-only and family coverage. FFCC analysis shows the excise tax could disproportionately harm dependent coverage for children.

H.R. 253 – FAMILY FIRST PREVENTION SERVICES ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation reforms federal child welfare financing streams to provide services to families who are at risk of entering the child welfare system by allowing federal reimbursement for mental health services, substance use treatment, in-home parenting skill training, etc. It also seeks to incentivize states to reduce placement of children in congregate care.

H.R. 269 – LOOK-BACK ELIMINATION ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill extends federal funding to states for maintenance payments on behalf of each foster child, regardless of whether the child would have been eligible for aid under the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children program at the time of removal from the home.

H.R. 496 – BRIDGE ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would continue protections for beneficiaries of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by allowing them to maintain lawful status to continue to live in the U.S. and become eligible for a work permit without fear of deportation.

H.R. 682 – PRESERVING ACCESS TO MEDICAID FOR AMERICANS ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: OPPOSE
The bill would eliminate specified maintenance of effort requirements for states to protect the health coverage of millions of children enrolled in the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

H.R. 737 – CARING START ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would support the implementation of evidence-based trauma-informed practices, age-appropriate positive behavioral interventions and supports, early childhood mental health consultation, and prevention of suspension and expulsion of children in Head Start.

H.R. 798 – CHILD TAX CREDIT EQUITY FOR PUERTO RICO
ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation amends the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) to allow residents of Puerto Rico to claim the refundable portion of the CTC on the same basis as U.S. taxpayers.

H.R. 947 – FAMILY AND MEDICAL INSURANCE LEAVE ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill amends the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 to allow employees to take, as additional leave, time to attend educational and extracurricular activities of their children or grandchildren.

H.R. 1013 – PRE-K TEACHER PARITY ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation allows the tax education for certain expenses of elementary and secondary teachers to be extended to individuals who provide instruction, child care, or administrative support in an early childhood education program.

H.R. 1069 – TIMELY MENTAL HEALTH FOR FOSTER YOUTH ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation requires that states provide an initial mental health screening of any child in foster care within 30 days after the child enters into foster care. In the case of any child for whom a mental health issue is identified by the initial screening, a comprehensive assessment of the child’s mental health must be completed within 60 days after he child’s entry into foster care.

H.R. 1143 – HYGIENE ASSISTANCE FOR FAMILIES OF INFANTS AND TODDLERS ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would create demonstration projects to help low-income families address the diapering needs of their children.

H.R. 1146 – EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR RESIDENTIAL REPRESENTATION ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would provide grants to organizations that provide civil legal services to families facing eviction, landlord/tenant disputes, fair housing discrimination, or other housing-related issues.

H.R. 1318 – PREVENTING MATERNAL DEATHS ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would provide grants to states, territories, and tribes to review pregnancy-related deaths, establish maternal mortality review boards, and develop plans to educate health care providers about maternal deaths and establish protocols to prevent maternal deaths.

H.R. 1345 – PROTECT CHILDREN FROM THEFT ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill amends the Fair Credit Reporting Act to improve the protection of a minor’s credit report.

H.R. 1511 – HOMELESS CHILDREN AND YOUTH ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
This legislation amends the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act to modify definitions related to homeless individuals and homeless children or youth as used by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to verify eligibility for HUD homeless assistance programs to align them with the definition of “homeless” used to verify eligibility for other federal assistance programs. The amended definitions would increase access to federal homeless programs by homeless children, youth, and families

H.R. 1516 – HEALTHY FAMILIES ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would allow workers in businesses with 15 or more employees to earn paid sick days and provide workers with the option to use paid leave for a variety of child health-related reasons.

H.R. 1628 – AMERICAN HEALTH CARE ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: OPPOSE
The legislation would repeal a number of provisions in the Affordable Care Act that expanded health insurance coverage and convert the Medicaid program’s financing to a per capita cap with the option to move children into a block grant.

H.R. 1650 – NATIONAL ADOPTION AND FOSTER CARE HOME STUDY ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would create a demonstration program for states to adopt a specific evidence-based, uniform, national home study program for the evaluation of prospective foster parents and adoptive parents.

H.R. 1748 – OPENING DOORS FOR YOUTH ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill provides at-risk and disconnected youth with subsidized summer and year-round employment and assists local community partnerships in improving high school graduation and youth employment rates.

H.R. 1757 – TRAUMA-INFORMED CARE FOR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would make a number of modifications to various provisions of law to improve the trauma-informed support services and mental health care for children.

H.R. 1809 – JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation modifies and reauthorizes the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA).

57) H.R. 1925 – AT-RISK YOUTH MEDICAID PROTECTION ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
This legislation protects the enrollment of incarcerated youth for medical assistance under the Medicaid program.

H.R. 1973 – PROTECTING YOUNG VICTIMS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation extends the duty to report suspected child abuse, including sexual abuse, to adults authorized to interact with minor or amateur athletes at certain facilities under the jurisdiction of a sports organization that is recognized by the International Olympic Committee.

H.R. 2069 – FOSTERING STABLE HOUSING OPPORTUNITIES ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill provides priority under certain federally assisted housing programs to youth who age out of foster care.

H.R. 2200 – FREDERICK DOUGLASS TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PREVENTION AND PROTECTION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill reauthorizes the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.

H.R. 2236 – FOSTER AND HOMELESS YOUTH FOOD SECURITY ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill modifies certain Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligibility requirements for foster care and homeless youth who are enrolled at least half-time in an institution of higher education.

H.R. 2290 – FAMILY-BASED CARE SERVICES ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill establishes a definition in Medicaid for “qualified therapeutic family care services” to provide coverage for services for children under age 21 who need institution-level care but can treated in a community placement through a licensed and accredited program.

H.R. 2401 – ANTI-LUNCH SHAMING ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would ban schools from stigmatizing children whose parents cannot afford to pay for their school lunches and require schools to direct communications about unpaid school lunch bills to the parent, rather than penalizing the child.

H.R. 2512 – FOSTER YOUTH DRIVING ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation expands foster parent training and provide funding to support the obtainment of a driver’s license for foster youth.

H.R. 2572 – PROTECT FAMILY VALUES AT THE BORDER ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to consider safety and family concerns in any action related to the repatriation or prosecution of individuals apprehended for immigration violations.

H.R. 2581 – VERIFY FIRST ACT
FFCC Position: OPPOSE
The legislation created new barriers to health coverage for both citizens and immigrants by imposing new verification measures that would delay coverage for those eligible for health insurance coverage.

H.R. 2628 – STABILIZE MEDICAID AND CHIP COVERAGE ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill provides for 12-continuous enrollment under Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and eliminates coverage waiting periods in CHIP

H.R. 2681 – FOSTER EITC ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill increases the age to 21 at which the Earned Income Tax Credit is allowed for former foster children.

H.R. 2742 – MODERNIZE THE INTERSTATE PLACEMENT OF CHILDREN IN FOSTER CARE ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation requires the procedures a state must have in effect for the orderly and timely interstate placement of children in foster care to include an electronic interstate case-processing system.

H.R. 2832 – WELFARE REFORM AND UPWARD MOBILITY ACT
FFCC Position: OPPOSE
The bill would provide for an overall spending limit on means-tested welfare programs and impose new requirements on recipients of anti-poverty programs, such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, as well as reducing funding for federal housing assistance.

H.R. 2834 – PARTNERSHIP GRANTS TO STRENGTHEN FAMILIES
AFFECTED BY PARENTAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill provides funding to address substance abuse to state and regional partnerships to prevent child abuse and neglect.

H.R. 2847 – IMPROVED SERVICES FOR OLDER YOUTH IN FOSTER CARE ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill authorizes states to extend foster care eligibility for assistance and services to youth who have aged out of foster care but have not yet reached the age of 23.

H.R. 2857 – SUPPORTING FAMILIES IN SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation allows family foster care maintenance payments for children placed with a parent in a licensed residential family-based treatment facility for substance abuse.

H.R. 2866 – REDUCING BARRIERS FOR RELATIVE FOSTER PARENTS ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would help create uniformity in licensing standards and improve the current practice of ensuring a child is placed in a safe home.

H.R. 2878 – CHILDREN DON’T BELONG ON TOBACCO FARMS ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation redefines child labor prohibitions under the Fair Labor Standards Act to include the employment of a child under the age of 18 who has direct contact with tobacco plants or dried tobacco leaves.

H.R. 2886 – CARE ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill strengthens various provisions of law to protect children with respect to child labor.

H.R. 3006 – SCHOOL FOOD MODERNIZATION ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation provides needed assistance to schools through loan guarantees for kitchen infrastructure and equipment upgrades, authorizes grants for small but critical equipment purchases, and supportive innovative training opportunities to strengthen the school food service workforce.

H.R. 3381 – CHILD POVERTY REDUCTION ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill establishes a Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Child Poverty to develop a national target and plan to reduce the number of children living in poverty and extreme poverty in the U.S.

H.R. 3440 – DREAM ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation provides legal status and a pathway to citizenship for nearly 800,000 long-term undocumented residents who entered the U.S. as children.

H.R. 3525 – HOME VISITING WORKS ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would reauthorize the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program.

H.R. 3632 – PROMOTING AFFORDABLE CHILDCARE FOR EVERYONE (PACE) ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill amends the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit to make it fully refundable, increase the rate for the credit, and adjust the credit for inflation.

H.R. 3636 – EDUCATOR PREPARATION REFORM ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation would improve the quality and accountability for educator preparation programs.

H.R. 3695 – PROTECT DREAMER CONFIDENTIALITY ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation provides for the confidentiality of information submitted in requests for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

H.R. 3703 – NO SCHOOL BUS DRIVERS WITH DUIS ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill prohibits any state, state educational agency, or local educational agency receiving Elementary and Secondary Education Act funding from employing an individual as a school bus driver who has been convicted of, or pled guilty to, drunk driving or a driving violation that is a felony under state law.

H.R. 3740 – THE HIGHER EDUCATION ACCESS AND SUCCESS FOR HOMELESS AND FOSTER YOUTH ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would help homeless and foster youth access higher education through removing barriers to financial aid, as well as increase support on college campuses through housing assistance and resources to connect students to services.

H.R. 3742 – THE FOSTERING SUCCESS IN HIGHER EDUCATION ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The legislation establishes or expands transitions between K-12 and higher education for foster and homeless youth, including summer bridge programs and develops “institutions of excellence” committed to serving foster and homeless youth.

H.R. 3875 – COLLEGE STUDENT HUNGER ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill expands the eligibility of students to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).

H.R. 3921 – HEALTHY KIDS ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill would reauthorize and extend funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for five years and is includes much of the language from S. 1827.

H.R. 4184 – ESPERER ACT OF 2017
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill adjusts the immigration status of certain foreign nationals in temporary protected status in the United States.

H.R. 4234 – PREPARING HOMELESS YOUTH FOR EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT ACT
FFCC Position: SUPPORT
The bill authorizes college and career counseling for homeless children and youth.

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That’s a lot of bills that the #MNTrumpTrio could have sponsored … and tell your constituents that you are focused on protecting children.
Co-sponsoring legislation isn’t difficult and it is a common practice to issue a “Dear Colleague” letter asking other members to join in as a sponsor.
In fact, many of these bills list the original sponsor as a Republican.
Further, many of these proposals have companion bills in the Senate.

So, surely, with so many proposals … many bipartisan … many with multiple sponsors … leads to the obvious question :
What did our #MNTrumpTrio do ?

Well, Minnesota’s Second District Congressman Jason Lewis has authored 11 bills and cosponsored 108.
Of those, the only one on the list is :
H.R. 1809 – JUVENILE JUSTICE REFORM ACT OF 2017

Minnesota’s Third District Congressman Erik Paulsen has authored 42 bills and cosponsored 187.
Of those, on the list is :
H.R. 1318 – PREVENTING MATERNAL DEATHS ACT OF 2017
H.R. 1973 – PROTECTING YOUNG VICTIMS FROM SEXUAL ABUSE ACT OF 2017
H.R. 2200 – FREDERICK DOUGLASS TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PREVENTION AND PROTECTION REAUTHORIZATION ACT OF 2017

Minnesota’s Sixth District Congressman Tom Emmer has authored 21 bills and cosponsored 201.
Of those, on the list that First Focus supports is :
H.R. 173 – MIDDLE CLASS HEALTH BENEFITS TAX REPEAL ACT OF 2017
Of those, on the list that First Focus opposes is :
H.R. 2832 – WELFARE REFORM AND UPWARD MOBILITY ACT

The First Focus press release announcing the awards also includes this comment

However, we must also solemnly reflect on the fact that we are still short of what it takes to enact meaningful change for children across all issue areas. For example, nearly 20 percent, or 1 in 5, of our nation’s children are living in poverty, and yet, Congress continues to pay little attention to that crisis.
That inaction is unacceptable, and we must redouble our efforts to encourage the public to make children a priority when they vote and to get legislators to make children a priority when they arrive in Washington, D.C. Children are counting on us to hold our legislators accountable for representing and addressing their needs.

Clearly, the #MNTrumpTrio is not focused on children and on November 6th, voters will have a chance to tell these legislators how important children are … it’s time for a change.

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