It’s been another exciting and productive week in Delaware! One of the most exciting things that happened this week was the Child Tax Credit payments hitting Delaware bank accounts across the state. The Child Tax Credit is a truly transformational policy that could cut child poverty in America in half, and I’m proud to have voted to pass the policy as part of the American Rescue Plan. Monthly payments of $300 are making their way to Delaware working families right now. Most folks don’t have to do anything to receive the payments, but if you’re curious about eligibility or want to check on the status of your payment, you can visit ChildTaxCredit.gov for more information. I was proud to host a webinar this Wednesday with representatives from the Internal Revenue Service, the United Way, the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, and Nehemiah Gateway to discuss the impact of the payments. We were also fortunate to hear directly from a Delaware family about what a difference the Child Tax Credit payments will make in their life. If you missed the webinar, you can watch it in its entirety here.
One of the best parts of spending time back home is being able to highlight the work that we’re doing in Washington. I’m sure that you’ve read about the infrastructure negotiations that are taking place in Congress, and so on Monday, I wanted to take the opportunity to talk about one aspect of the infrastructure package that will have a monumental impact on Wilmington. I’ve been working to ensure that one of my bills, the Reconnecting Communities Act, is included in whatever final package makes it to President Biden’s desk. My family moved to Wilmington in 1969, just a few short years after the construction of I-95 was completed. We know of the devastating impacts that the interstate construction had on Wilmington’s neighborhoods — the demolition of hundreds of homes, businesses, and churches. That’s why I was proud to welcome my colleague, Dwight Evans of Philadelphia of Wilmington to join me, Senator Carper, and so many community leaders and advocates in Wilmington to discuss the impact of the Reconnecting Communities Act. After our roundtable discussion, I also had the opportunity to travel to Philadelphia to visit with Representative Evan’s constituents to discuss the impact the bill would have in Philly. You can read more about our efforts to reunify Wilmington here.
Monday wasn’t my only trip to Philadelphia this week, as I was privileged to be invited to hear President Biden speak on Tuesday at the National Constitution Center about our sacred right to vote. With constant attacks on voting rights throughout the country, it’s my belief that it’s more important than ever to pass H.R. 1, the For the People Act, and H.R. 4, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act. We cannot let process stop progress. We must protect our most sacred right to vote.
Finally, while I spent my week in Delaware, there was still business to attend to in D.C., as I participated in an Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing, where we considered for advancement a number of bills that would support the development of advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, provide resources and other assistance to combat the ongoing opioid and substance use epidemic, address the social determinants of health, improve maternal health, and increase access to life-saving vaccines. And while I know that it won’t grab the headlines or make for a good cable news soundbite, I’m proud to report that our committee advanced 19 of those bills — ALL of which were bipartisan — including my bill, the CARING for Social Determinants Act, which helps address social determinants of health that affect children and will help reduce unnecessary use of resources, lead to better outcomes for chronic diseases, such as asthma, and set young Americans up for healthier lives as adults.
It’s been a great and productive work period in Delaware and next week, I’ll be returning to Washington where we’ll continue infrastructure negotiations and I’ll keep pushing for the consideration of both H.R. 1 and H.R. 4 to protect our democracy. I look forward to updating you then. In the meantime, I hope you and your families have a restful and relaxing weekend.
Lisa Blunt Rochester
Member of Congress