The Stronger Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, which cleared the House by 345-73, represents a legislative overhaul of the flagship bill addressing child welfare in the US. The new legislation would require the US Department of Health and Human Services to establish national standards for tracking and reporting child fatalities along with near-fatalities as a result of maltreatment.
The bill would also set up an electronic infrastructure for states to share information from their respective child abuse and neglect registries.
The proposed national tracking standards and information-sharing infrastructure reflect the repeated calls of advocates to scale up child welfare coordination among states to produce clearer national data.
“Our bipartisan effort to pass this bill again this year demonstrates that — no matter our party affiliations — we can all agree that Congress must do more to support children and families,” he said.
The legislation was originally set for a vote earlier this month before Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia and several members of the House Freedom Caucus asked for a roll call vote on a series of noncontroversial suspension bills, including this one.
While those drops would usually be welcome news, experts say the declines might really mean more cases are going unnoticed.
“If we do not develop a national plan to meet these children and families in their moment of crisis, we will be a country cruelly complicit in our apathy,” Daphne Young, chief communications officer for the child welfare group Childhelp, previously told CNN.
The bill had died in the last Congress after failing to get a vote in the Senate. But Scott told CNN before he reintroduced the bill that he’s confident the new Democratic majority in the chamber will bring a different outcome.
“In the new Senate you have a new majority leader and I’m confident that Leader (Chuck) Schumer will bring it up for a vote,” he said.
“There’s overwhelming support for the legislation.”
Source: CNNPolitics – Breaking News