Henry Waxman on Families & Children
Democratic Representative (CA-30)
Voted YES on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.
Congressional Summary:Allows federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for either the: (1) birth of a child; or (2) placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. Makes available for any of the 12 weeks of leave an employee is entitled to for such purposes: (1) four administrative weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth or placement involved; and (2) any accumulated annual or sick leave.
Proponent's argument to vote Yes:
Rep. STEVE LYNCH (D, MA-9): This bill takes an important step toward improving the Federal Government's ability to recruit and retain a highly qualified workforce by providing paid parental leave to Federal and Congressional employees for the birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care, which is a benefit that is extended to many in the private sector in other industrialized countries.
Opponent's argument to vote
No:Rep. DARRELL ISSA (R, CA-49): This bill sends the wrong message at the wrong time to working American taxpayers and families that are struggling in difficult times. Our economy is in crisis, and deficits are already soaring. This bill does not have one provision to say if you make $170,000 a year, why do we have to give you this benefit, because you have to choose between feeding your children and being with your children? Certainly not. There are no protections against, in fact, those who do not need this special benefit getting it. There are no safeguards at all. As a matter of fact, this bill envisions the $1 billion over 5 years, swelling to $4 billion over 10 years or more because, in fact, they believe it should be 8 weeks of special leave. Federal employees enjoy one of the highest levels of job security, without a doubt, anywhere in the United States. I would venture to say many of them the highest. More importantly, in good times and bad, they keep their jobs.
Reference: Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act;
; vote number 2009-H310
on Jun 4, 2009
Voted YES on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids.
Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would assign a national coordinator for AMBER alerts. AMBER alerts is an alert system for missing children, make available additional protections for children and set stricter punishments for sex offenders. Two-time child sex offenders would be subjected to mandatory life sentence. The measure would make it a crime to pander visual illustrations of children as child pornography. It would increase maximum sentences for a number of specified crimes against children. It would also make it a crime to take a trip to foreign countries and engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. It also would enlarge law enforcement's wiretap and electronic surveillance abilities in investigations of child pornography.
Reference: Child Abduction Prevention Act;
Bill S 151
; vote number 2003-127
on Apr 10, 2003
Voted NO on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years.
Vote to pass a bill that would reduce taxes for married people by $399.2 billion over 10 years by doubling the couples' deduction and the child tax credit. Among other provisions, the bill would allow married couples filing jointly to claim a standard deduction equal to the deduction they would receive filing singly.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Weller, R-IL;
Bill HR 6
; vote number 2001-75
on Mar 29, 2001
Rated 15% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.
Waxman scores 15% by the Christian Coalition on family issues
The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.
Our Five-Fold Mission: Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003
- Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
- Speak out in the public arena and in the media
- Train leaders for effective social and political action
- Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
- Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Sponsored bill banning high lead levels in children's toys.
Waxman sponsored banning high lead levels in children's toys
OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead to be banned hazardous substances.
SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: The unfortunate reality for many children--particularly in low-income and minority households--is the continued presence of high blood lead levels. Lead is a highly toxic substance that can produce a range of health problems in young children, including IQ deficiencies, hyperactivity, and damage to the kidneys, brain and bone marrow.
We know that lead poisoning is completely preventable. As the Nation has increased efforts to reduce environmental lead exposure, the number of children with high blood levels has steadily dropped. Restricting lead in gasoline and paint represent two major accomplishments in this regard. But much work remains to be done.
Disturbingly, lead is present in a number of toys and other frequently used objects by young children. About half of tested lunch boxes have unsafe levels of lead. In 2004, there were 3 recalls of nearly 150 million pieces of toy jewelry because of toxic levels of lead. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission has dragged its feet in aggressively addressing the problem of lead in toys.
It's a national disgrace that toys that could pose a serious and significant danger to children are readily available in our department stores and markets. The Lead Free Toys Act of 2005 will help us keep our children safe and healthy, and contribute to national efforts to reduce lead exposure.
LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.
Source: Lead Free Toys Act (S.2048/H.R.668) 05-S2048 on Nov 17, 2005
Permanent crime database for volunteers with kids.
Waxman co-sponsored creating permanent crime database for volunteers with kids
A bill to amend the National Child Protection Act of 1993 to establish a permanent background check system. Congress finds the following:
- In 2006, a total of 16,500,000 adults volunteered their service to education or youth programs.
- An estimated 6.6% of individuals in the United States will serve time in prison for a crime during their lifetime. The Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System of the FBI maintains fingerprints and criminal histories on more than 47,000,000 individuals, many of whom have been arrested or convicted multiple times.
- Of individuals released from prison, an estimated 67.5% were rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within 3 years.
Given the large number of individuals with criminal records and the vulnerability of the population they work with, human service organizations that work with children need an effective and reliable means of obtaining a complete criminal history in order to determine the suitability of a potential volunteer or employee.
- The large majority of Americans (88%) favor granting youth-serving organizations access to conviction records for screening volunteers and 59% favored allowing youth-serving organizations to consider arrest records when screening volunteers.
- Even when accessible, the cost of a criminal background check can be prohibitively expensive, between $21 and $99 for each volunteer or employee.
- The Child Safety Pilot Program demonstrates that timely and affordable background checks are possible, as background checks under that program are completed within 3 to 5 business days at a cost of $18.
Source: Child Protection Improvements Act (S.2756/H.R.5606) 08-S2756 on Jul 28, 2008
Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.
Waxman signed H.R.1551&S.611
Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.
Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.
Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009
Encourage adoption of children in foster care.
Waxman co-sponsored Resolution on National Adoption Month
RESOLUTION: Supporting the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month by promoting national awareness of adoption and the children in foster care awaiting families, recognizing current programs and efforts designed to promote adoption, and encouraging people in the US to seek improved safety, permanency, and well-being for all children.
- Whereas there are 400,540 children in the foster care system in the US, approximately 104,000 of whom are waiting for families to adopt them;
- Whereas the number of youth who 'age out' of the foster care system by reaching adulthood without being placed in a permanent home has increased by more than 55% since 1999, and more than 27,000 foster youth 'aged out' of foster care during 2010;
- Whereas while 3 in 10 people in the United States have considered adoption, a majority of them have misconceptions about the process of adopting children from foster care and the children who are eligible for adoption;
Whereas 45% of people believe that children enter the foster care system because of juvenile delinquency, when in reality the vast majority of children in the foster care system were victims of neglect, abandonment, or abuse;
- Whereas 46% of people believe that foster care adoption is expensive, when in reality there is no substantial cost for adopting from foster care, and financial support in the form of an adoption assistance subsidy is available to adoptive families of eligible children adopted from foster care and continues after the adoption is finalized until the child is 18
Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
Source: H.RES.809 12-HRes809 on Nov 15, 2012
- supports the goals and ideals of National Adoption Day and National Adoption Month;
- recognizes that every child in foster care deserves a permanent and loving family; and
- encourages the citizens of the United States to consider adoption of children in foster care who are waiting for a permanent, loving family.
More funding & services for victims of domestic violence.
Waxman co-sponsored Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act
Introduction by co-sponsor Sen. Kay Hagan (D,NC):
We have a serious responsibility to ensure that women and families are protected. The rates of violence and abuse in our country are astounding and totally unacceptable: domestic violence affects more than 12 million people each year. In my home state, 73 women and children are killed on average every year because of domestic violence.
Since 1994, the STOP Program has provided grants for services, training, officers, and prosecutors, and has transformed our criminal justice system and victim support services. And this bill includes the bipartisan SAFER Act, which helps fund audits of untested DNA evidence and reduces this backlog of rape kits. I ask you: What other victims in America have to identify the attacker before authorities will take action? None.Introduction by Sen. Chuck Grassley(R,IA):
Source: S.47/H.R.11 13-HR0011 on Jan 22, 2013
I urge my Republican colleagues, as I will do, to support the motion to proceed.
There has long been bipartisan support for the Violence Against Women Act. Too many women are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and dating violence. There is overwhelming bipartisan support for 98% of what is contained in S. 47. [Since our negative vote last session], controversial provisions have been removed. The key stumbling block to enacting a bill at this time is the provision concerning Indian tribal courts. Negotiations are continuing, and compromises would allow the bill to pass with overwhelming bipartisan support. Introduction by Sen. Pat Leahy (D,VT):
Our bill will allow services to get to those in the LGBT community who have had trouble accessing services in the past. The rates of domestic and sexual violence in these communities are equal to or greater than those of the general population. We also have key improvements for immigrant victims of domestic and sexual violence.
Sponsored recognition of National Foster Care Month.
Waxman signed Recognizing National Foster Care Month
RESOLUTION recognizing National Foster Care Month as an opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges of children in the foster care system, and encouraging Congress to implement policy to improve the lives of children in the foster care system.
Source: H.Res.577/S.Res.442 14_HRes577 on May 8, 2014
- Whereas there are approximately 400,000 children living in foster care;
- Whereas foster care is intended to be a temporary placement, but children remain in the foster care system for an average of 2 years;
- Resolved, That the House of Representatives--
- encourages Congress to implement policy to minimize the number of children entering the foster care system, to improve the lives of children in the foster care system, and to maximize the number of children exiting foster care to the protection of safe, loving, and permanent families;
- acknowledges the unique needs of children in the foster-care system;
- recognizes foster youth throughout the US for their ongoing tenacity, courage, and resilience while facing life
- acknowledges the exceptional alumni of the foster-care system who serve as advocates and role models for youth who remain in care;
- honors the commitment and dedication of the individuals who work tirelessly to provide assistance and services to children in the foster-care system; and
- reaffirms the need to continue working to improve the outcomes of all children in the foster-care system through parts B and E of title IV of the Social Security Act and other programs designed to
- support vulnerable families;
- invest in prevention and reunification services;
- promote guardianship, adoption, and other permanent placement opportunities in cases where reunification is not in the best interests of the child;
- adequately serve those children brought into the foster-care system; and
- facilitate the successful transition into adulthood for children that 'age-out' of the foster-care system.
Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.
Waxman signed Responsible Education About Life Act
To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
- Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
- A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
- [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
- 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
- There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
- Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.
[Congress requires that] Sex Education Programs should:
Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009
- provide information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptive and barrier methods used as a means to prevent pregnancy; and to reduce the risk of contracting STDs, including HIV/AIDS;
- encourage family communication between parent and child about sexuality;
- teach young people how alcohol and drug use can affect responsible decisionmaking; and
- do not teach or promote religion.
Page last updated: Jan 31, 2017