Schrader on Spending Bill: No DACA, No CHIP? No Vote.
Congressman Kurt Schrader (OR-05) voted against the second short-term, band aid spending bill this month, which received zero bipartisan input. The bill once again ignored action on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which the President has slated to end in March, and does not fully fund the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) or Community Health Centers (CHCs).
“Many of my colleagues and I have been explicitly clear: we want a bipartisan process,” said Rep. Schrader. “If the majority was interested in working together as we are, and interested in our votes for this bill, they would have included a clean DREAM Act and fully funded CHIP.
“There are thousands of young folks around the country who have already lost their DACA status and hundreds of thousands more who are set to lose status next year. Dreamers are losing their protected status every day Congress fails to act. We’re talking about students, teachers, health care providers, and researchers – folks who are providing vital contributions to our communities, and who know no other home than the United States. We must to protect these young folks and put an end to the unnecessary limbo in which this administration so heartlessly thrown them.
“We need full funding for CHIP and CHCs, not this stop-and-start patch work of fixes. Nine million children and their families across America are relying on us. Even with this sham of a bill, there are kids who will wake up on January 1st not knowing whether they will continue to have health insurance. States and providers cannot operate under this unnecessary uncertainty. I cannot support closing out this year without having acted on any of these programs that, for many, are life or death.”
In Oregon, CHCs account for over one million patient visits each year, employing over 4,000 medical professionals, while more than 140,000 children receive health insurance through CHIP. This bill provides scant funding for CHIP—funding that could run out in just a few short weeks. Historically, CHIP has been funded in two to five year increments with overwhelming bipartisan input and support.
Congressman Schrader voted against the two week spending bill earlier this month. He has been calling for a full funding of CHIP and CHCs since before the initial September 30th expiration date, and has taken to the House floor and social media every week this fall to share the story of a DACA recipient from his district.
[VIDEO] Marco's Story: a Portland Dreamer, Bachelor’s Degree holder in Accounting, and accountant for an Oregon non-profit that benefits youth.