DeLauro Amendments on Family Reunification, Mental Health Added to Appropriations Bill
WASHINGTON, DC (July 11, 2018) — Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-03) today released the following statement after her amendments on family reunification and mental health services passed by a voice vote and were included in the FY2019 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations bill. The first amendment directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to submit a plan to Congress to locate all of the children who were forcibly taken from their parents and to reunify them with their families. The second amendment increases funding for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network by $10 million—to nearly $64 million—to provide behavioral health services and counseling to the thousands of children who were subjected to President Trump’s cruel family separation policy.
“I am proud that today’s amendments holding the Trump administration accountable for reuniting families and providing mental health services for kids passed on a bipartisan basis. HHS needs to tell Congress what they are doing to bring children and families together. In the absence of a plan, the HHS Office of the Secretary’s budget will be cut by $100,000 each and every day. Their inaction has enormous consequences on these kids’ lives, so it is more than fair that they share some of that burden.”
“HHS has admitted to separating thousands of children from their parents without even bothering to track which children belong to which parents. That is unspeakable. More than that, President Trump’s barbaric policy of child abuse continues to inflict trauma on thousands of children. As Americans, we never imagined that our leaders would intentionally inflict such harm on small, innocent children to gain leverage in a negotiation or to extract a political price. My amendment increasing funding for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network is a modest attempt to repair some of the damage we have inflicted on these children. Ensuring access to trauma services will not reverse the damage that has been done, but it would provide a modicum of relief. I think it is the least we could do for these kids.”
“Congress must continue pushing this administration to act responsibly, and with a sense of urgency until every child gets the care they need and is reunited with their family.”