Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022

Floor Speech

Date: Dec. 2, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

I thank Chairman Davis. I appreciate his work in bringing H.R. 8876, the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022, through our committee, and I am proud to support this effective legislation named in honor of our dear friend, Representative Jackie Walorski. Jackie had a servant's heart, and we shared not only a strong friendship but a passion for creating opportunities to help others beyond just one day, with life-changing measures and positive outcomes.

In this case, those that are served are mothers and their new children, those that otherwise have many obstacles that can often lead to costly and negative health outcomes. Jackie worked tirelessly and passionately on this program with Dr. Davis. The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program is a program that is successful, and the data supports that.

What does success look like? A healthy mother with a caring support system delivering and raising a healthy new child that is ready to grow, learn, and thrive.

Earlier this year, I visited Every Child Succeeds, a Cincinnati nonprofit that helps support mothers and young children. During the roundtable discussion with local moms and home visitors, I heard firsthand how the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program, MIECHV, as we call it, we heard how it is working. I also heard kids being loud and laughing, and I thought to myself, that is the sound of happy, healthy children.

Our bipartisan legislation reauthorizes MIECHV for 5 years and will serve more moms and babies by growing the capacity of the program in partnership with the States. MIECHV is a successful program, first of all, by phasing in a State match to vulnerable populations. We will expand the research of evidence-based home visiting programs across the country by adding $174 million in new State funding.

Second, we target funds to families in poverty by directing three- quarters of additional MIECHV funding based on the number of children under 5 in poverty in each State.

Third, the bill improves outcomes reporting so more people will have visibility and access to the good work being done by home visitors.

HHS will also be required to implement a State outcome dashboard, so we have more transparency on program performance measures and clinical indicators to show actual impact on families.

Lastly, we apply lessons learned from the pandemic and allow virtual visits to continue on a limited basis while maintaining MIECHV's commitment to in-person visits and high evidence standards.

As a physician, I am very familiar with the evidence-based benefits of in-home support for both new parents and children, and I am glad we are able to find common ground to provide stability for the program and the vulnerable families that the program serves. This program helps maternal and child health, family safety and stability, and readiness for school.

People said to me on my visit, ``I don't think my child would be healthy without this program, but home visiting made all the difference for us.'' That is proof that this program really works.

I also want to take a moment to celebrate and honor my good friend and battle buddy, Jackie Walorski. I am honored to continue her work here today. I can't think of a better way to honor her than seeing this bill through. She was a devoted public servant who cared deeply about this issue.

Today, this morning, another dear friend of mine is unexpectedly being laid to rest, another physician that believed in this program. Dr. O'dell Owens, a well-known and loved healthcare hero in Cincinnati, Ohio, a man for others, a true public servant, my hero and mentor.

Dr. Owens, as an OB/GYN, brought the gift of life to so many, specializing in caring for expecting mothers that face many challenges, always concerned about the health and well-being of the mothers that he cared for as well as the babies he would bring into the world.

Dr. Owens' services to the community extended well beyond the delivery room and into education, public health, and even served as coroner. Dr. Owens loved the MIECHV program and the long-term, evidence-based positive effects that the program has had on so many lives and families.

I can say with confidence that Dr. Owens and Jackie Walorski would strongly urge the reauthorization of this bill.

Mr. Speaker, I thank, again, Chairman Davis and the late ranking Member and dear friend Congresswoman Walorski for spearheading this issue and their work on this subcommittee.

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Chu).

Mr. MURPHY of North Carolina. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the Jackie Walorski MIECHV Reauthorization Act.

Maternal, infant, and childhood home visiting programs support pregnant women and their young children with evidence-based approaches that improve maternal and child health outcomes for the most vulnerable.

Over the last 30 years, I have taken care of many single mothers who struggled to take care of their children. Sadly, the problem is only getting worse with the explosion of fatherlessness in this country.

This is a program we all wish didn't need to exist, but we are all very glad that it does. This is actually when the government gets it right.

I personally have been in these homes, when I was in the State legislature, and these young women desperately need our help. Even more so, the children of these single mothers need our help.

This program will help young mothers get the help that they need for their children. These are not handouts; these are hand-ups. This is what government is supposed to do.

I am proud of our colleague and dear friend, the late Congresswoman Walorski, for her dedicated leadership on behalf of women and babies throughout the country.

Jackie shined a bright light in this Chamber and was resolute in her love and support for American families. This bill cements her legacy and will improve the lives of millions of Americans for generations to come.

I am honored to support this legislation and urge all of my colleagues to vote for the reauthorization act in honor of Jackie Walorski.

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

Mrs. MILLER of West Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I rise also in support of the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022.

Programs like these are essential and they deliver meaningful results that strengthen our families and our communities.

In West Virginia, the MIECHV program has made over 21,159 home visits, served 1,556 families, and impacted over 1,943 children. The program supports our vulnerable pregnant women, and it comes alongside parents with young children to ensure that they all have the resources that they need to raise their children.

I also, of course, take a moment to recognize my dear friend and colleague, Jackie Walorski, who this bill is named after.

Jackie was my mentor in Congress when I first came here and she very quickly became my friend. We shared meals together, good conversation, and her office was even directly across from mine in the same hall.

It was my pleasure to serve alongside her on the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee. Her leadership and her passion for these issues are reflected in this bipartisan bill.

Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution.

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I continue to reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. WENSTRUP. Mr. Speaker, I am prepared to close, and I yield myself the balance of my time.

Mr. Speaker, I thank everyone involved with this really wonderful moment that we are experiencing here on the floor, not only in memory of Jackie Walorski but in the work that she put in and how much was accomplished here, especially in a bipartisan fashion on behalf of so many people across America that are going to benefit from this great program--the mothers and the children, especially.

I take a moment to thank Jackie's husband, Dean, who shared Jackie with us here in the House of Representatives, where she was able to do so much good work, and this being one of the very highlights of her career. It spoke so much about who she was and who she is.

This is a special moment for me, as I know my friend Dr. Owens in Cincinnati--who took care of so many mothers that benefit from this program--is being laid to rest today, and he was so proud of what we were doing with this program. Well, he is with Jackie now. But we are all blessed to have had so much hard work put into this across the aisle.

Mr. Speaker, I thank Chairman Davis, who worked tirelessly on this, as well. This was definitely a dual effort, and I am grateful for all those who have participated, to the entire community, the Committee on Ways and Means, the subcommittee, and to all those involved.

I am very proud that we are moving this bill forward today. I urge its reauthorization and encourage all of our Members to support this wonderful program.

Mr. DANNY K. DAVIS of Illinois.

Let me, first of all, thank Dr. Wenstrup for his leadership. And I also thank all of those who have spoken to the virtues of the bill as well as the virtues of Jackie Walorski.

I was able to attend her homegoing services, and I can assure you if you were in Mishawaka or South Bend, Indiana, you would hear the same words that have been spoken here today. She was indeed an amazing woman.

Mr. Speaker, before I close, I would mention another amazing woman who has been legendary and become legendary in this institution, and that is our dearly beloved Speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who has led this body for a number of years. And I think that this can indeed be one of its proudest moments.

Mr. Speaker, I close by quoting Erika Beck, who receives home visiting services in Chicago. At one of the hearings Jackie and I held, Ms. Beck said, ``I know that our lives are changed forever and for the better because of Myia, our home visitor. She is helping me and Louis, my husband, help our kids succeed, and she is educating all of us.''

Such is the feeling of those who receive these valuable services.

Mr. Speaker, I also take this opportunity to thank all of the organizations and individuals who have joined our fight to continue and expand home visiting.

I thank the bipartisan Committee on Ways and Means staff: Staff director Morna Miller, Taylor Downs, Cheryl Vincent, and Andrew Gradison.

I also thank the tremendous nonpartisan staff that my staff and I relied on so much throughout this process. Patrick Landers and Karen Lynch at the Congressional Research Service; James Grossman at the Office of Legislative Counsel, and Carolyn Ugolino at the Congressional Budget Office.

Mr. Speaker, I also thank my legislative staff director, deputy chief of staff, Dr. Jill Hunter-Williams, who put in so much time, energy, and effort on this bill. I also thank all of us who worked with her.

I have had some proud moments in this body, but I can tell you that there is no prouder moment that I have had than to be a force and to suggest when we vote for this bill, for this home visiting opportunity for thousands and thousands of children and mothers and families to experience the help that they need to become everything that America has the potential of helping them to be.

Again, Mr. Speaker, it is an excellent piece of legislation. I urge its passage, and I yield back the balance of my time.

Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 8876 The Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022, which reauthorizes a modification and an increase in funding to the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program.

Specifically, the Act would set requirements for allocating program funds, increase the percentage of funds reserved for tribal entities, establish a publicly available dashboard that reports program outcomes, and allows for vital home visits.

Congresswoman Jackie Walorski, in whose honor this bill was named, was a champion for women, children, and families who inspired this pivotal piece of legislation.

Her dedication and commitment to the health of children, families and future mothers will live on through the passage of the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act.

The Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program supports pregnant people and parents with young children who live in communities that encounter greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes.

Home visits help communities and families through development of strong relationships and trust by meeting regularly and addressing family needs.

These home visitors encourage early language development and early learning at home, teach positive parenting skills, help families set goals for the future, connect families to other services and resources in their community, and support future mothers by teaching healthy pregnancy practices.

These tailored programs focus on empowering the wellbeing of families and children and help reduce crime and domestic violence at home, improve family economic self-sufficiency and improve maternal and newborn health.

In the U.S., two-thirds of pregnancy related deaths are preventable and for every pregnancy-related death, there are 70 pregnancy-related near-death experiences.

There is a severe gap in care that is contributing to these avoidable casualties. It's extremely important that we remove barriers in health care that may be contributing to these deaths.

In comparison to other industrialized nations, the United States has been trending downward when it comes to maternal health, and the numbers continue to get worse.

According to the World Health Organization, from 1990 to 2015 maternal mortality rates increased by 16.7 percent in the United States.

In the rest of the world maternal mortality decreased during that same period.

In 2020, 861 women died of maternal causes in the U.S. That equates to 861 women who planned on living full, healthy lives and planned on being parents to the children they carried for 9 long months.

That's 861 children who must grow up without their parent. That's 861 families that are forever altered. That's a medical system and society that has failed 861 women.

According to the American Medical Association, Black women are three to four times more likely to die from pregnancy and childbirth than white women.

Black women across all socioeconomic statuses and education levels are more likely to experience maternal mortality than white women.

H.R. 8876, the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act is a first step to closing these inequitable gaps.

Our dear friend, Congresswoman Walorski, made it her priority in Congress to fight for American women and children. Her spirit, along with those of her two dedicated aides who perished with tragically, are with us here today.

The passage of H.R. 8876 is vital to the wellbeing, health, and safety of millions of mothers, children, and families across America who live in communities that endure greater risks and barriers to achieving positive maternal and child health outcomes.

A timely five-year reauthorization before the end of this year is needed to minimize service interruption, staff losses, and disruption of local programs.

I urge all of my colleagues to vote in favor of H.R. 8876, the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022 to help the millions of Americans who are most in need of this assistance.


Mr. WENSTRUP. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 390, nays 26, not voting 15, as follows: [Roll No. 500] YEAS--390 Adams Aderholt Aguilar Allen Allred Amodei Armstrong Arrington Auchincloss Axne Bacon Baird Balderson Banks Barr Barragan Bass Beatty Bentz Bera Bergman Beyer Bice (OK) Bilirakis Bishop (GA) Blumenauer Blunt Rochester Boebert Bonamici Bost Bourdeaux Bowman Boyle, Brendan F. Brady Brown (MD) Brown (OH) Brownley Buchanan Bucshon Budd Burgess Bush Bustos Butterfield Calvert Cammack Carbajal Cardenas Carey Carl Carson Carter (GA) Carter (LA) Carter (TX) Cartwright Case Casten Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Cawthorn Chabot Cheney Cherfilus-McCormick Chu Cicilline Clark (MA) Clarke (NY) Cleaver Cline Clyburn Cohen Cole Comer Connolly Conway Cooper Correa Costa Courtney Craig Crawford Crenshaw Crow Cuellar Curtis Davids (KS) Davis, Danny K. Davis, Rodney Dean DeFazio DeGette DeLauro DelBene Demings DeSaulnier DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Dingell Doggett Donalds Doyle, Michael F. Dunn Ellzey Emmer Escobar Eshoo Espaillat Estes Evans Fallon Feenstra Ferguson Finstad Fischbach Fitzgerald Fitzpatrick Fleischmann Fletcher Flood Flores Foster Foxx Frankel, Lois Franklin, C. Scott Gallagher Gallego Garamendi Garbarino Garcia (CA) Garcia (IL) Garcia (TX) Gibbs Gimenez Golden Gomez Gonzales, Tony Gonzalez, Vicente Gooden (TX) Gottheimer Granger Graves (LA) Graves (MO) Green, Al (TX) Griffith Grijalva Guest Guthrie Harder (CA) Harshbarger Hayes Herrell Herrera Beutler Higgins (NY) Hill Himes Hinson Hollingsworth Horsford Houlahan Hoyer Hudson Huffman Huizenga Issa Jackson Lee Jacobs (CA) Jacobs (NY) Jayapal Jeffries Johnson (GA) Johnson (LA) Johnson (OH) Johnson (SD) Johnson (TX) Jones Joyce (OH) Joyce (PA) Kahele Kaptur Katko Keating Keller Kelly (IL) Kelly (MS) Kelly (PA) Khanna Kildee Kilmer Kim (CA) Kim (NJ) Kind Kirkpatrick Krishnamoorthi Kuster Kustoff LaHood LaMalfa Lamb Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Latta LaTurner Lawrence Lawson (FL) Lee (CA) Lee (NV) Lesko Letlow Levin (CA) Levin (MI) Lieu Lofgren Long Loudermilk Lowenthal Lucas Luetkemeyer Luria Lynch Mace Malinowski Malliotakis Maloney, Carolyn B. Maloney, Sean Mann Manning Mast Matsui McBath McCarthy McCaul McClain McCollum McGovern McHenry McNerney Meeks Meijer Meng Meuser Mfume Miller (WV) Miller-Meeks Moolenaar Mooney Moore (AL) Moore (UT) Moore (WI) Morelle Moulton Mrvan Murphy (FL) Murphy (NC) Nadler Napolitano Neal Neguse Nehls Newhouse Newman Norcross O'Halleran Obernolte Ocasio-Cortez Omar Owens Palazzo Pallone Palmer Panetta Pappas Pascrell Payne Peltola Pence Perlmutter Peters Pfluger Phillips Pingree Pocan Porter Posey Pressley Price (NC) Quigley Raskin Reschenthaler Rice (NY) Rice (SC) Rodgers (WA) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rose Ross Rouzer Roybal-Allard Ruiz Ruppersberger Rush Rutherford Ryan (NY) Ryan (OH) Salazar Sanchez Sarbanes Scalise Scanlon Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Schrier Schweikert Scott (VA) Scott, Austin Scott, David Sempolinski Sessions Sewell Sherman Sherrill Simpson Sires Slotkin Smith (MO) Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smith (WA) Smucker Soto Spanberger Spartz Speier Stansbury Stanton Stauber Steel Stefanik Steil Stevens Stewart Strickland Suozzi Swalwell Takano Tenney Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Thompson (PA) Tiffany Timmons Titus Tlaib Tonko Torres (CA) Torres (NY) Trahan Trone Turner Underwood Upton Valadao Van Drew Van Duyne Vargas Veasey Velazquez Wagner Walberg Waltz Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Coleman Weber (TX) Webster (FL) Welch Wenstrup Westerman Wexton Wild Williams (GA) Williams (TX) Wilson (FL) Wilson (SC) Wittman Womack Yakym Zeldin NAYS--26 Babin Biggs Bishop (NC) Brooks Buck Burchett Cloud Clyde Davidson Duncan Fulcher Gaetz Good (VA) Gosar Green (TN) Grothman Harris Hice (GA) Higgins (LA) Jackson Jordan Massie McClintock Rosendale Roy Taylor NOT VOTING--15 Gohmert Gonzalez (OH) Greene (GA) Hartzler Hern Kinzinger Lamborn Leger Fernandez McKinley Miller (IL) Mullin Norman Perry Steube Yarmuth

Messrs. JORDAN, BURCHETT, GREEN of Tennessee, and BABIN changed their vote from ``yea' to ``nay.''

Mr. TIFFANY changed his vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''

So the bill was passed.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

Stated for:

Ms. LEGER FERNANDEZ. Mr. Speaker, I was not present on December 2, 2022 during the Roll Call No. 500 vote, H.R. 8876, the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022. Had I been present, I would have voted YEA. MEMBERS RECORDED PURSUANT TO HOUSE RESOLUTION 8, 117TH CONGRESS Amodei (Balderson) Axne (Wild) Barragan (Correa) Bass (Cicilline) Brooks (Moore (AL)) Brown (MD) (Evans) Butterfield (Beyer) Calvert (Valadao) Cardenas (Correa) Carter (LA) (McBath) Cawthorn (Donalds) Cherfilus-McCormick (Brown (OH)) Conway (Valadao) Craig (Stevens) Curtis (Moore (UT)) DeFazio (Pallone) Demings (Castor (FL)) DeSaulnier (Beyer) Diaz-Balart (Gimenez) Doyle, Michael F. (Pallone) Gallego (Stanton) Garbarino (Miller-Meeks) Gibbs (Balderson) Gonzalez, Vicente (Correa) Gooden (TX) (Miller-Meeks) Gosar (Weber (TX)) Horsford (McBath) Jacobs (NY) (Sempolinski) Johnson (GA) (Pallone) Johnson (TX) (Pallone) Joyce (OH) (Valadao) Kahele (Correa) Katko (Upton) Kelly (IL) (McBath) Khanna (Pappas) Kim (NJ) (Pallone) Kind (Beyer) Kirkpatrick (Pallone) LaTurner (Valadao) Lawson (FL) (Evans) Levin (MI) (Correa) Lieu (Beyer) Long (Fleischmann) Loudermilk (Fleischmann) Lowenthal (Huffman) Maloney, Sean P. (Pappas) Meng (Escobar) Newman (Correa) O'Halleran (Stanton) Ocasio-Cortez (Bowman) Omar (Bowman) Owens (Moore (UT)) Palazzo (Fleischmann) Payne (Pallone) Porter (Neguse) Pressley (Neguse) Quigley (Schneider) Reschenthaler (Van Drew) Rice (NY) (Murphy (FL)) Roybal-Allard (Correa) Rush (Beyer) Ryan (OH) (Correa) Simpson (Fulcher) Sires (Pallone) Speier (Huffman) Strickland (Allred) Swalwell (Correa) Tlaib (Bowman) Veasey (Fletcher) Watson Coleman (Pallone) Welch (Pallone) Williams (GA) (McBath) Wilson (SC) (Timmons)