Indian Child Welfare Act Could be Overturned

Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act in 1978 to preserve Native American tribe families by allowing tribal governments to have a strong voice in legal matters concerning child custody and placement. The U.S. 5th Circuit Court has recently heard Brackeen v. Bernhardt, a case that argued for overturning the Indian Child Welfare Act. The case argues that the law is race-based and violates the Equal Protection Clause in the U.S. Constitution. The case came about after several white families faced legal battles when trying to adopt Native American children. It is likely that the case will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Source: Indianz.com

House Budget Committee Hearing on HHS 2020 Budget

The House Budget Committee held a hearing Tuesday morning for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) fiscal year 2020 budget. In President Trump's budget proposal, he suggested a decrease in federal funding for multiple agencies, including funding for Medicaid. The Budget Committee discussed the administration’s proposed Medicaid policy that would require able-bodied adults to work or pursue an education in order to receive benefits. HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan testified in front of the committee on the budget needs for the upcoming fiscal year.

HUD Budget Plan Highlights

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Ben Carson has said he supports President Trump’s 2020 budget proposal to decrease funding by 16% for HUD. Carson has provided a plan for how he intends to make housing more affordable while lifting Americans out of poverty. Here are three suggestions Secretary Carson provided to decrease poverty in America:

  1. Work Requirements for Rental Assistance: Carson said that government housing does not promote self-sufficiency and that promoting work requirements would help able-bodied adults find sustainable long-term housing.
  2. Public-Sector Help to Rehabilitate Public Housing: Increase public-private partnership programs to get private funds to renovate public housing structures.
  3. Deregulating a Path to Affordable Housing: Zoning regulations, rent control, and environmental rules can add up to 27% to the cost of housing. Working to deregulate unnecessary regulation would help families have access to more affordable housing options.

House Ways and Means Mark Up on Tax Policy

The House Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Congressman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) is likely to soon hold a markup that could focus on a proposal to rework tax policy and/or strengthen retirement savings. The committee has already held a series of hearings that reviewed tax policy. Earlier this week, Chairman Neal held a hearing on the 2017 tax law and who it left behind. This includes the Earned Income Tax Credit and potential changes to it, the child tax credit, and other key policies.

Source: Children’s Budget Coalition  

Continued Scrutiny of Family Separation Policy

There are new allegations that government officials at the border were tracking menstrual cycles of migrant girls and trying to convince pregnant minors not to have abortions. The House Judiciary Committee is pressuring Scott Lloyd, the former HHS head of Office of Refugee Resettlement that cares for minor children, to appear before the committee by mid-April. 

Source: Children’s Budget Coalition

 

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