Members of Congress Who Advanced Children’s Issues Recognized by First Focus Campaign for Children

July 19, 2018, Washington, D.C.—In a year marked by partisanship, several Members of Congress stood out as Champions and Defenders of children, according to the 2017 Legislative Scorecard released by First Focus Campaign for Children (FFCC), a national bipartisan children’s advocacy group.

“Even though child advocates had to defend a whole range of legislative and regulatory attacks on children, we identified 120 Members of Congress who chose to make children a priority. We commend their leadership and hope they will inspire their colleagues to do the same,” said Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children.

Of note is that, in the 115th Congress, women are 2.6 times more likely to be named a champion or defender of children than men.

The 2017 Champions for Children Scorecard includes key votes on health-related bills and amendments to tax legislation, including two House votes on the Children’s Health Insurance Program, two Senate votes on child tax credit amendments, and four votes between the two chambers on the Affordable Care Act.

For instance, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, signed into law in December 2017 (P.L. 115-97) will increase the deficit by approximately $1.5 trillion, which the next generation will pay off well into the future. The deficit will also trigger cuts to numerous programs vital to children, including Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) offered an amendment to further expand the CTC by increasing its refundability (make it refundable against payroll taxes), which would have benefitted lower income families. Sadly, despite 68 senators voting for it, the amendment did not pass as senators failed to overcome opposition from Senate leadership and the Trump Administration.

In July 2017, the Senate voted down the “Health Care Freedom Act” (H.R. 1628), which would have resulted in an estimated 16 million Americans losing health coverage and a 20 percent increase in insurance premiums. The First Focus Campaign for Children strongly opposed the bill, and we thank all the members of the Senate who voted against it, including Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and John McCain (R-AZ).

Out of 90 bills that FFCC is tracking, The Child Poverty Reduction Act of 2017 (S.1630/H.R.3381), would mandate that the federal government create a plan to cut the number of children in poverty by half in ten years and to eliminate child poverty in twenty years. That legislation was sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL), who accumulated the most points in the Senate and House for their votes and work on legislation for children.

This is First Focus Campaign for Children’s eighth annual class of Champions and Defenders for Children.

Champions for Children

  • Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI)
  • Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
  • Sen. Robert Casey (D-PA)
  • Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)
  • Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
  • Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
  • Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA)
  • Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
  • Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND)
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
  • Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
  • Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
  • Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL)
  • Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY)
  • Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
  • Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Rep. Lou Correa(D-CA)
  • Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT)
  • Rep. Danny Davis (D-IL)
  • Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)
  • Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO)
  • Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT)
  • Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA)
  • Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI)
  • Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)
  • Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ)
  • Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL)
  • Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL)
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI)
  • Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
  • Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-IA)
  • Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D-NM)
  • Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM)
  • Rep. James McGovern (D-MA)
  • Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI)
  • Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL)
  • Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI)
  • Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA)
  • Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL)
  • Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
  • Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA)
  • Rep. Bobby Rush (D-IL)
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL)
  • Rep. Darren Soto (D-FL)
  • Rep. Mark Takano (D-CA)

Defenders of Children

  • Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN)
  • Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
  • Sen. Angus King (I-ME)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
  • Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT)
  • Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)
  • Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA)
  • Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
  • Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO)
  • Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ)
  • Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT)
  • Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI)
  • Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI)
  • Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)
  • Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
  • Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
  • Rep. Nanette Barragán (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA)
  • Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR)
  • Rep. André Carson (D-IN)
  • Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO)
  • Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ryan Costello (R-PA)
  • Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL)
  • Rep. Suzan DelBene (D-WA)
  • Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY)
  • Rep. Dwight Evans (D-PA)
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA)
  • Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL)
  • Rep. Gene Green (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA)
  • Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX)
  • Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
  • Rep. John Katko (R-NY)
  • Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA)
  • Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI)
  • Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ)
  • Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI)
  • Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI)
  • Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL)
  • Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-CA)
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA)
  • Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX)
  • Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
  • Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA)
  • Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL)
  • Rep. Robert Scott (D-VA)
  • Rep. José Serrano (D-NY)
  • Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL)
  • Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA)
  • Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH)
  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-CA)
  • Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH)
  • Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL)

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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children’s advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are the priority in federal policy and budget decisions.

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