PI’s Policy and Advocacy Portal is a one-stop shop for the latest national policy news, advocacy opportunities, and resources relating to community prevention and health equity.

January 22nd

  • The partial government shutdown passed the four-week mark on Friday, January 18. Native American tribes are experiencing sharp cutbacks to health services, education, housing, child welfare, maintenance of tribal lands, and economic development. Domestic violence shelters across the country are cutting services for survivors because they can’t access the funding they would normally receive from the Department of Justice. Over 800,000 federal workers are going without pay and are being forced to make difficult choices to cover their basic needs, unsure when they will receive their next paychecks. Routine food safety inspections have been cut back. Hundreds of inspections of water systems, chemical factories, power plants, oil refineries, and other industrial sites have been cancelled. More than 40,000 immigrants, many of whom have been waiting years to have their cases heard in immigration court,  have had their hearings cancelled. More than 2,500 food retailers (and counting) are no longer able to accept food assistance benefits because their licenses were not renewed before the government shutdown. As government housing contracts expire, hundreds of thousands of tenants of low income are at risk of eviction. Other impacts range from delayed disaster relief to interrupted data collection on climate change and other health issues. 

Week of January 5th - January 11th

  • California Governor Gavin Newsom introduced his first budget proposal this week, calling for increased investments in early childhood care and learning (including $750 million for all-day Kindergarten and a proposal to expand universal preschool to all low-income California children),  healthcare (expansion of Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits, a proposal to create a single-payer system for prescription drugs), education, poverty (including doubling a tax credit available to low-income families), homelessness, expanded paid family leave, water safety, and other issues.  
     
  • The partial shutdown of the federal government reached 21 days on Friday, affecting food programs, healthcare, and other services for Native American tribes; the National Park System; the Environmental Protection Agency, with has cut back on investigating environmental hazards; the Food and Drug Administration, which has ceased routine food-safety investigations; the National Transportation Safety Board; immigration caseloads; and more, with furloughed federal workers missing their first paycheck.   
     

Week of December 29th - January 4th

  • The 116th Congress was sworn in this week, and Nancy Pelosi was elected as House Speaker. The freshman class in the US House of Representatives includes the largest number of women ever elected to Congress and a diverse cohort of new representatives, including the first two Native American women, the first two Muslim-American women, the first Korean-American woman ever to be elected to the US Congress, the first Latina representatives from the state of Texas, and the youngest women ever elected to Congress.
     
  • The government has been partially shut down for 14 days because of a dispute over the Administration’srequest for $5 billion in funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border. The Environmental Protection Agency ran out of funding this week, limiting the agency’s capacity to uphold clean water standards and regulate pesticides. Indian Health Service clinics that provide direct healthcare services to tribal communities remain open, but employees are going without pay, and tribal health programs and preventive health clinics have been suspended. The US House voted Thursday night on two bills to reopen the federal government, but these are not expected to be taken up by the Senate.
     
  • Sixteen Democratic-led states and the District of Columbia appealed a federal judge’s ruling to strike down the Affordable Care Act, arguing that the judge ignored Congress’ “clear intent” when he ruled that the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2017 invalidated the law as a whole.
     
  • The Senate confirmed Jim Carroll to serve as director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the first permanent head of this office under the current administration.

 

Week of December 22nd - 28th

  • The partial government shutdown enters its second week, with negotiation and action to reopen the government likely on hold until the next Congress convenes in January. 
     
  • A second migrant child died in federal custody on Christmas Day, after the eight-year-old boy and his father were detained by US Customs and Border Control, transferred between various checkpoints and facilities not designed to safely house children, and held in detention for twice the amount of time the recommended for children. Felipe Alonzo Gomez was the second migrant child to die in the past month, after the death ofJakelin Caal Maquin, age 7. In response, the Department of Homeland Security has expanded health screenings of detained children, particularly young children under the age of 10. 
     
  • A proposed plan would weaken the Environmental Protection Agency's ability to restrict hazardous pollutants emitted by coal-fired power plants by changing the way the EPA assesses the benefits of restricting pollutants to give less consideration to public health. 
     

Week of December 16th - 21st

  • A federal judge struck down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional on the grounds that the elimination of the individual mandate as part of last year's tax reform package invalidates the law as a whole. The case was brought by 20 Republican governors and attorneys general. The Affordable Care Act remains in place as legal challenges proceed.
     
  • With funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, Food and Drug Administration, and the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, Agriculture, Commerce, Interior, Justice, State, and Homeland Security set to run out on December 21, the potential for a partial government shutdown over the administration's demands for $5 billion in border wall funding looms. 
     
  • Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced that his department will propose changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program that could result in 755,000 people losing access to nutrition benefits. The proposed rule would limit the ability of states to waive work requirements for so-called “able-bodied adults without dependents” between the ages of 18 and 49, requiring that waivers could only be used where the county-level unemployment rate exceeded seven percent. 
     

Week of December 9th - 15th
 

  • The US Senate and House passed a bipartisan Farm Bill this week, which President Trump is expected to sign next week. The current legislation does not include the strict work requirements for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients and the rollbacks of pesticide regulations that were included in earlier House versions of the bill.
     
  • The House and Senate have passed the Preventing Maternal Deaths Act that would fund state committees to investigate maternal deaths, with the goal of reducing maternal mortality, especially among women of color. 
     
  • Click here to read PI's weekly media digest for the week of December 9th - 15th

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Please tell Congress to oppose Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) changes that would increase hunger and worsen health inequities. Learn how to take action here.

Along with several other supporting organizations, Prevention Institute has signed onto the 22 by 22 campaign urging Congress to increase funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 22 percent by fiscal year 2022. Spread the word about this campaign with this fact sheet, and sign your organization on to support 22 by 22 here

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Prevention Institute engages in legislative, administrative, and regulatory advocacy to support upstream prevention policies and investments that advance health, safety, and equity.

November 9, 2018

PI submitted a public comment letter opposing proposed changes to the public charge rule. Read the letter here. 

June 21st 2018

PI's joint letter with TFAH, APHA, NACCHO, PHI, and ASPPH urges the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to reunite the families who have been separated during the "zero tolerance" policy and provide the necessary health and mental health services to mitigate any long-term effects of adverse childhood experiences that children of these families may have experienced due to separation.

April 20th 2018 
 

  • In support of the youth-led movement challenge to the status quo on guns, and renewed calls for action to address gun violence, Prevention Institute released an updated list of recommendations to prevent multiple forms of gun violence. 

September 27th

  • PI’s action alert  applauds Senator Collins and Senator John McCain for speaking out against the Graham-Cassidy bill and the process that produced it.

September 25th

  • PI and the leadership from the American Public Health Association, Public Health Institute, and Trust for America’s Health released a joint statement and call to action denouncing the Graham-Cassidy healthcare bill.

    September  22nd

    September 15th and 19th

     

    September 7th

    • Following the decision to rollback DACA, PI calls on Congress to defend the Dreamers

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