Author: Emma Thomson

Jackie Walorski and Melania Trump Op-Ed: A Stronger Foster Care System Is a Stronger America

Jackie Walorski and Melania Trump Op-Ed: A Stronger Foster Care System Is a Stronger America

During National Foster Care Month, Congresswoman Walorski and Mrs. Trump Outline Key Support for America’s Foster Children

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) and former First Lady Melania Trump outlined their agenda to support America’s foster children and youth in a new Fox News op-ed. In addition to offering solutions to improve care for all foster children, they also presented a path to equip older children with skills and resources they need to succeed as adults.

“Across the country, thousands of children entrusted to the foster care system are searching for direction, answers, and hope — and America must deliver,” write Congresswoman Walorski and Mrs. Trump.

For several years, Congresswoman Walorski and Mrs. Trump have partnered together to support American foster kids, youth, and families. With Mrs. Trump’s advocacy, Congress passed Rep. Walorski’s legislation, the bipartisan Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act, to provide timely, commonsense relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In their new op-ed, Congresswoman Walorski and Mrs. Trump outline achievable goals to support and equip vulnerable children and youth in the foster care system, such as reauthorizing federal programs set to expire this year, investing in workforce development for older foster youth, removing barriers to relative caregiving, and expanding access to care to ensure that every foster child has a safe home.

“This May, we ask Americans to join us in marking National Foster Care Month by helping children and youth in foster care and by celebrating all — from foster parents and caregivers, coaches to community volunteers — who stand by them,” they continue. “Together, we can uplift children in the foster care community and foster a brighter future.”

Congresswoman Walorski, who serves as the top Republican on the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker and Family Support, is a leader in child welfare issues, including foster care.

Read key excerpts of their op-ed below.

A stronger foster care system is a stronger America
Fox News
Rep. Jackie Walorski and Former First Lady Melania Trump
May 3, 2022

Foster care protects children, strengthens families, and builds a better future for our Nation’s youth. We must work together to build a framework for long-term economic stability and success — including for older foster youth and those aging out of the foster care system. 

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Our support must include preparing children to succeed as adults. We must equip these young Americans with the skills they need to reach their full potential through economic empowerment, and especially through expanded access to resources in the fields of science, technology, and the trades. 

The 20,000 youth who age out of foster care each year must have the tools to develop professional skills to thrive as adults. We’ve made great strides by moving toward prevention-focused services, but it’s crucial to ensure we do a better job of preparing foster youth for a successful transition to adulthood.

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Nationwide, 2.7 million grandparents are raising their grandchildren, a seven percent increase since 2009. Of these grandparents, about one-fifth have incomes that fall below the poverty line. We must do better in supporting these relative caregivers. We know, both from intuition and evidence, that keeping children with relative caregivers is generally the best possible situation.

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Given the nationwide shortage of loving, safe families for children, we must build on public-private partnerships that work – including religious child welfare providers. Our goal is always to provide certainty and support for all children.

Read the full op-ed at Fox News.

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Walorski Statement on Leaked Supreme Court Draft Opinion

Walorski Statement on Leaked Supreme Court Draft Opinion

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement on the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade.

“Overturning Roe v. Wade would be an answer to prayer – but the court must speak for itself without facing intimidation or threats from extreme liberals with a clear agenda. This leak once again proves that the radical left will stoop to unprecedented lows to extinguish the right to life.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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PHOTOS: Congresswoman Walorski Honors Hoosier Veterans

PHOTOS: Congresswoman Walorski Honors Hoosier Veterans

“The Honor Flight is an amazing opportunity to recognize our Hoosier heroes with the respect they have earned.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today greeted Hoosier veterans participating in Honor Flight Northeast Indiana at the World War II Memorial.

“It is a true privilege to meet Indiana veterans and thank them from the bottom of my heart. The Honor Flight is an amazing opportunity to recognize our Hoosier heroes with the respect they have earned,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “America is the home of the free because of the brave, and we will always be indebted to the courageous men and women who have served and sacrificed for us.”

The Honor Flight included Indiana veterans who served during World War II and throughout the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Cold War eras.

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Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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Walorski Sanctioned By Putin, Vows to Stand up for Freedom

Walorski Sanctioned by Putin, Vows to Stand Up for Freedom

“I will wear Russia’s sanctions as a badge of honor.”

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) issued the following statement on the sanctions Russia imposed on nearly 400 Members of Congress, including Rep. Walorski.

“Vladimir Putin is a monstrous tyrant and a vicious war criminal. The entire Free World has banded together against his evil and unprovoked war on Ukraine,” said Congresswoman Jackie Walorski. “As Putin strikes back at those who have stood up to him, I will wear Russia’s sanctions as a badge of honor – and I will always stand up for freedom and the truth.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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Walorski: Under Biden, Inflation Is Hammering Hoosiers

Walorski: Under Biden, Inflation Is Hammering Hoosiers

“Get Americans back to work, get Americans making energy again, and get big-government out of the way.”

MISHAWAKA, Ind. – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) released the following statement on today’s Consumer Price Index report, which rose to 8.5 percent.

“With President Joe Biden at the helm, inflation is hammering Hoosiers. Every week at the grocery store and the gas pump, working families are forced to make hard choices as prices skyrocket out of control – with no end in sight. While the White House spent months laughing off inflation fears and doubling down on its failed agenda, prices were climbing to shameful record-breaking highs. The answer is clear – get Americans back to work, get Americans making energy again, and get big-government out of the way.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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Walorski to HHS: Taxpayers Deserve Answers on Biden’s Budget

Walorski to HHS: Taxpayers Deserve Answers on Biden’s Budget

As Sec. Becerra Delays Hearing, Rep. Walorski Expects Answers on Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study, Other HHS Priorities

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, sent a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra requesting updates on several important HHS programs, including the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study. This week, Secretary Becerra delayed his scheduled appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee to testify on the Biden Administration’s proposed fiscal year 2023 budget for HHS.

“American taxpayers deserve answers on President Biden’s budget,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “Now more than ever, we must make wise investments to address challenges Americans are facing in Indiana and across the country – from combating the opioid crisis to ending food insecurity and uplifting families.”

In her letter, Congresswoman Walorski urged Sec. Becerra to provide an update on the status of the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study, which was included as a provision in section 6086 of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act of 2018. Named for Hoosier Dr. Todd Graham, this provision aims to expand access to non-opioid alternative pain treatments and technologies. Congresswoman Walorski introduced the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management, Treatment, and Recovery Act to honor the legacy of this South Bend physician, who was shot and killed on July 26, 2017, after refusing to prescribe an opioid painkiller to the shooter’s wife.

Congresswoman Walorski, who serves as co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, also asked Sec. Becerra to provide details on the proposed White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health Act, and encouraged the Biden Administration to prioritize bipartisan collaboration.

As the top Republican on the Worker and Family Support Subcommittee, Congresswoman Walorski also urged the administration to prioritize evidence-based solutions. Additionally, she asked for updates on the administration’s plans for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which is due for reauthorization this year.

Read her full letter HERE and below.

April 6, 2022

 

The Honorable Xavier Becerra
Secretary
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201

 Dear Secretary Becerra,

Taxpayers in Indiana and across the country deserve clear answers about President Joe Biden’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2023. As you have delayed your scheduled appearance before the House Ways and Means Committee to testify on the proposed budget for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, I request answers to the following questions regarding the budget and other programs.

  • Defeating our country’s epidemic of opioid misuse requires identifying all possible ways to treat the very real problem of chronic pain. As a solution, Congress created the Pain Management Best Practices Task Force in the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). Today, the need to implement best practices has never been greater. When will the agency complete pain care requirements, such as the Dr. Todd Graham Pain Management Study in Section 6086 of the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities (SUPPORT) Act? Does HHS have a strategic plan to implement Task Force best practices within HHS-related agencies and government wide? What other actions is HHS taking to improve seniors’ access to safe, effective, non-opioid pain management treatments and medical technologies in order to reduce risk and improve quality of life?
  • The FY 2022 spending bill directs HHS to convene a White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health, and it provides the agency with $2.5 million to support the Conference. I was the Republican co-lead on H.R. 5724, the White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, Hunger, and Health Act, which allows the Republican Leader of the House and the Senate to appoint members to the Conference. Does the Biden Administration plan on allowing House and Senate Republicans the authority to appoint Members to the Conference? Or is the Conference going to be a partisan exercise?
  • In 2018, Congress provided a five-year reauthorization of the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting (MIECHV) program, which is due for reauthorization this year. Your budget calls for increased funding of MIECHV of $467 million per year. Can you provide an update on the program as we approach reauthorization? Does the Biden Administration have any recommendations for improvements moving forward outside of increased funding?
  • The budget includes zero funding or calls for reauthorization of Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOGs), which expired on September 30, 2021. Last year, Committee Democrats included a 5-year reauthorization that increased funding from $85 million to $425 million per year in their reconciliation spending package. Last month, HHS published a new evaluation “Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG 1.0) Impact Study: Six-Year Impacts Report” that once again found no impact on earnings or employment outcomes among individuals who completed the training program. Committee Republicans are committed to investing in programs that demonstrate effective and positive outcomes. Can you confirm the President’s position is to eliminate this duplicative and ineffective program?

Thank you for your attention to these important matters. Please provide answers to my questions by April 19, 2022.

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Walorski: Biden’s Border Crisis Is Endangering Hoosiers

Walorski: Biden’s Border Crisis Is Endangering Hoosiers

As the Biden Administration Terminates Title 42, Indiana Will Pay Hefty Cost for Open Borders, Cartel Violence, Illicit Drugs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) issued the following statement on the Biden Administration’s termination of Title 42, Trump-era border protections:

“On the campaign trail, President Biden promised open borders – and he has delivered complete with constant chaos, dangerous violence, and deadly drugs. Month after month of the Biden Administration, border agents report record-breaking levels of illegal immigration, drug trafficking, and inhumane travesties.

“Every week, local communities face fentanyl-fueled overdoses. With deadly illicit drugs flowing across the porous border, every town in Michiana is a border town. As the White House terminates Trump-era border protections, they are encouraging wicked cartels to cross the open border and traffic drugs into our neighborhoods.

“At every step, President Biden and the Democrats have chosen to incentivize lawlessness at the southern border and endanger Indiana communities – all at a steep cost to Hoosiers.”

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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Walorski Leads Solution to Help Schools Endure Food Supply Chain Chaos & Maintain Service to Kids

Walorski Leads Solution to Help Schools Endure Food Supply Chain Chaos & Maintain Service to Kids

The SNACK Act Offers Flexibility to Help School Nutrition Programs Overcome Supply Chain Challenges

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, today introduced the Securing Nutrition for American Communities and Kids (SNACK) Act to offer flexibility for school nutrition programs and make it easier for them to overcome persistent food supply chain disruptions and other current challenges.

“Throughout the pandemic, our local schools overcame extraordinary obstacles to ensure eligible Hoosier kids maintained access to safe and healthy meals. Now, persistent supply chain bottlenecks and food shortages continue to plague school nutrition programs in Indiana and across the country – with no end in sight,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “In this uncertain environment, schools are struggling to facilitate meal programs and plan for future disruptions. The SNACK Act offers relief by offering flexibility to help school nutrition programs overcome supply chain challenges and restore focus to their true mission – feeding kids and equipping them to thrive.”

BACKGROUND

The SNACK Act would extend pandemic-era flexibilities for school nutrition programs to account for continuing supply chain shortages. It would amend the Families First Coronavirus Response Act of 2020 to allow schools to continue non-congregate summer food service, which enables programs to offer meals to individual students either in-person or by pickup rather than in a group setting, this summer. Additionally, the SNACK Act would extend supply chain waivers through the upcoming school year, until June 30, 2024.

As co-chair of the House Hunger Caucus, Congresswoman Walorski is leading efforts to end food insecurity and support healthier, more resilient communities.

Read the full text of Congresswoman Walorski’s legislation, the SNACK Act, here.

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Walorski, DelBene, Walberg, Craig Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth Benefits for American Workers

Walorski, DelBene, Walberg, Craig Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Expand Telehealth Benefits for American Workers

The Telehealth Benefit Expansion Act Would Empower Job Creators to Offer Stand-Alone Telehealth Care Plans to All Employees

WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.) today led U.S. Reps. Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), Tim Walberg (R-Mich.), and Angie Craig (D-Minn.) in introducing the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act of 2022, bipartisan legislation that would expand Americans’ access to employer-sponsored health benefits by classifying telehealth as an excepted benefit.

“As Americans experienced during the pandemic, telehealth can open doors to quality and affordable health care. The Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act will allow job creators to expand access to telehealth benefits for all workers, including part-time and seasonal employees, to ensure access to this important resource,” said Rep. Walorski. “I thank Reps. Suzan DelBene, Tim Walberg, and Angie Craig for their partnership in advancing bipartisan solutions to support American workers and build a brighter future.”

The Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act of 2022 would allow job creators to offer a stand-alone telehealth service program, similar to dental and visions plans, in addition to traditional health care plans. It would amend the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to allow all employees – including part-time and seasonal workers – to receive this excepted benefit. Under the legislation, any stand-alone telehealth service would remain separate from traditional medical plans and would not serve as a replacement.

“COVID-19 put a new emphasis on telehealth and showed how impactful and convenient it can be for working families to get care similar to an in-office nurses station. Over the past two years, many employers have begun offering these telehealth services to their workforce,” said Rep. DelBene. “Even with many businesses returning to in-person work, we shouldn’t be turning our backs on the benefits of telehealth. We’re introducing the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act so workers can continue receiving this care from the comfort of their homes and on their own schedule.”

“Throughout the pandemic, telehealth has proven to be a vital tool for Americans to receive timely and quality care from their own home. For rural communities in particular, telemedicine has helped remove barriers to care, expand access to specialists, and improve health outcomes,” said Rep. Walberg. “I am pleased to work with my colleagues on this bipartisan legislation to protect telehealth benefits for the workers who need them most.”

“The COVID-19 public health emergency reinforced the importance of widespread access to telehealth services for millions of Americans – especially those living in rural and underserved communities. Over the past two years, patients and providers alike have come to the conclusion that the benefits of this new and growing service are simply irreplaceable,” said Rep. Craig. “I’m proud to help lead this bill to expand employer-sponsored telehealth benefits for American workers – and thankful to my colleagues for their cooperation on this critical issue.”

Read the full text of the Telehealth Benefit Expansion for Workers Act here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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Walorski: U.S. Must Hold Chinese Communist Party Accountable and Protect American Workers

Walorski: U.S. Must Hold Chinese Communist Party Accountable and Protect American Workers

In Hearing with USTR, Congresswoman Walorski Urges Support for Hoosier Workers & Manufacturers

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Jackie Walorski (R-Ind.), a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee, urged the Biden Administration to prioritize clear trade goals to benefit American workers, farmers, and manufacturers. During the Ways and Means Committee hearing on the Biden Administration’s 2022 Trade Policy Agenda, Congresswoman Walorski encouraged United States Trade Representative (USTR) Ambassador Katherine Tai to deliver trade relief for Americans while taking on the Chinese government’s predatory trade practices.

“We must hold the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its egregious human rights atrocities and unfair trade practices,” said Congresswoman Walorski. “I believe we can do that while also ensuring that American workers and small businesses don’t pay the price.”

Watch her full exchange with USTR Ambassador Tai here.

BACKGROUND

Northern Indiana is both a manufacturing powerhouse and a robust agricultural hub. As a national trade leader, Congresswoman Walorski has urged the Biden Administration to prioritize commonsense trade policies that level the playing field and equip Americans to be competitive in the 21st century.

In January 2022, Congresswoman Walorski and Congressman Darin LaHood (R-Ill.) led 139 fellow Members of Congress in calling on USTR Ambassador Tai to deliver targeted relief to American businesses, workers, and families by expanding the Section 301 exclusion process. Read more here.

Walorski represents the 2nd Congressional District of Indiana, serving as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the Ranking Member of the House Ethics Committee.

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