Pay for Success, Child Welfare Evidence Provisions Unexpectedly Struck from End-of-Session Bill (Social Innovation Research Center)

Two sets of provisions widely supported by child welfare and evidence advocates have been struck from a pending bill affecting the National Institutes of Health, called “21st Century Cures.”

According to Congressional Quarterly:

Two bills related to foster care and other children’s services that passed the House by voice vote in June were in the medical innovation and mental health package (HR 34) released last Friday, which the House will debate Wednesday. The bills, a priority for Speaker Paul D. Ryan, R-Wis., were struck after senators led by Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., voiced opposition Tuesday when a North Carolina group home organization protested. …

The other bill (HR 5170, S 1089) that was to be in the package would have awarded federal money to state and local governments who could demonstrate that certain social service programs were achieving a beneficial outcome.

According to the report:

Burr’s last-minute objections caught lawmakers in both chambers off guard. Frustrated Democratic aides questioned why leaders in the House didn’t stand up for the welfare provisions, especially because Burr’s steadfast support for the 21st Century Cures effort probably meant that he would have continued to support the bill overall.

“The bill passed the House unanimously in June and Burr never objected when the bill was hotlined in the Senate,” a Democratic Senate aide told CQ. “Republican leaders backed down, despite the fact this bill has support of more than 500 child welfare groups, including Children’s Defense Fund and American Academy of Pediatrics.”

No word yet from congressional staff on whether the provisions might be reinstated in this or another bill before Congress leaves for the year. SIRC will continue to monitor the situation and report any changes.

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