It is truly appalling that the continuing resolution Congress passed today to fund the government through January 19 fails to include adequate funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and protections for DREAMers. As a result, millions of families will face fear and uncertainty over the holidays, unsure about the future of their children’s health insurance or what their legal status will be in 2018. This is unacceptable. As a nation, we can and must be better than this. Our country may be saved the pain of a government shutdown, but that comes at the expense of vulnerable children and immigrants. This is no way to run a country.
Make no mistake: Congress just prioritized a regressive tax plan that will line the pockets of the richest individuals and corporations while leaving children and immigrants to fend for themselves. It’s an economic and moral travesty. Funding for CHIP lapsed on September 30, and congressional Republicans have repeatedly refused to re-authorize funding for the program without offensive riders that would jeopardize the health care of millions of other people. This program, which has long had bipartisan support, is being used as a political football despite the fact that the health of nine million children is at risk. The decision to not provide a full five-year reauthorization of CHIP in the year-end deal is nothing short of outrageous. The short-term extension of CHIP still leaves states in limbo as to whether they will have enough funds to provide health insurance to children over the next few months. If we can’t put the health and wellbeing of our children first, then our government is failing at its most basic responsibility.
The diversity of our nation is exactly what’s made us strong, innovate and prosperous, yet the Trump administration has repeatedly attacked immigrant communities this year. Trump’s termination of the popular Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program and his action revoking Temporary Protected Status for thousands of people harm our communities, businesses, economy, moms, dads and children. We had hoped that Congress would remember the value that immigrants bring to our country and pass the DREAM Act before the end of the year. Instead, hundreds of thousands of families will spend the holiday season worried that they can be torn apart at any time.
The moms of America stand with all immigrant families and all families who need health care. It’s time for every single member of Congress to stand with us too -- and as soon as members of Congress get back to work in January, we expect them to do their job and pass the DREAM Act and full, five-year funding for CHIP. Our country is depending on them.
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