Last week, new legislation to reauthorize the Maternal Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program was introduced. The Home Visiting Works Act of 2017 would reauthorize the program for five years with an increase in funding eventually reaching $800 million annually. It would also be exempt from sequestration. The bill was introduced by House Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committee Members Danny Davis (D-Ill.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas), and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).
Earlier this year, House Ways and Means Human Resources Subcommittee Chairman Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and four of his colleagues on the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees introduced their own version of a five-year MIECHV reauthorization, the Increasing Opportunity Through Evidence-Based Home Visiting Act.
Clearly there is support to continue MIECHV from both sides of the aisle; however, the clock is ticking to ensure this program continues after the end of September, when the authorization will expire without further action. Hopes are that this newly introduced bill will spark continued work on MIECHV’s reauthorization and push both Democrats and Republicans to find compromises on their bills.
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