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Fall Is Coming: What Is Congress Doing for Our Children?

From health care to education funding, here’s a rundown on top kids’ issues before Congress this season.

Congress has returned from its August recess to a jam-packed fall calendar. As senators and members of Congress consider the major issues before them, Common Sense Kids Action thinks that they should base their votes on what will be best for America's kids.

Click here for the full rundown and read below for highlights of top issues this season and why they matter to kids.

Stay tuned to this blog for updates and be sure to contact your lawmakers to express your views and encourage them to think about our kids -- before they vote!

Health care: On the heels of Congress' failed attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) this summer, a Senate committee is holding a series of bipartisan hearings this month regarding the stabilization of health insurance markets under the ACA, markets that affect nearly 10 million Americans. Keep in mind that the landmark ACA and other programs has led to more kids age 0 to 5 with health insurance than at any other point in our history. Additionally, Congress must vote to reauthorize the federal-state Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) by Sept. 30. If Congress fails to do so, 9 million low-income kids could lose their insurance coverage. We're watching health policy closely because it is so important to the long-term success of our kids. Read more

Education funding: The president's 2018 budget proposal would make a devastating 14 percent cut to the Department of Education. We're urging Congress not only to reject the president's unfounded proposal for some lesser but still significant cut, but to instead invest in services and programs on which millions of kids rely, such as after-school centers, teacher training programs, and basic education. In addition, Congress should reject efforts to shift already limited education dollars to the president's proposed school choice plan, which would steal money from all kids but would particularly shut out kids in rural areas. Read more

Tax reform: Congress and the president have made tax reform one of their top priorities this fall and winter. In particular, we're keeping an eye out for policies that are intended to help ease the burden of high child care costs -- some proposals would unfairly steer limited resources to America's wealthiest families instead of to low- and moderate-income families that need help the most. And we are concerned that, done wrong, the larger tax reform bill could cause one of two serious problems for kids: Either it will run up the deficit and debt without making long-term investments in the economy, leaving our kids to pay the bill, or it will cut taxes primarily for the wealthiest Americans and large companies at the expense of funding critical services that matter to kids and their families, such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, and education. Read more

We'll keep you updated on the opportunities and threats to kids in Congress in the months ahead. For now, please share this blog post with your friends and family to help spread the word.

Danny Weiss

Danny Weiss is Chief Advocacy Officer at Common Sense. In this role, he oversees all advocacy and public policy operations. He brings nearly three decades of service on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Danny first joined Common Sense in 2015 and returned again in 2020, and has led efforts to close the digital divide, protect children's online data privacy, hold tech companies accountable for online harms to kids and teens, and expand access to programs that lift children out of poverty, like the expanded Child Tax Credit. In his spare time, he likes cook dinner and play percussion.