Children

Senator Casey believes that all children deserve a strong start in life, and the economic health of our Nation rests upon how well we help prepare our children for success. By laying a solid foundation that includes health, nutrition, safety and education from the day they are born, we can ensure that each child can grow to his or her potential. No matter what the circumstances, it is the obligation of every public official to do all that they can to make sure that the light inside every child in America burns as brightly as possible, and that every child reaches his or her potential. Some of the highlights of Senator Casey’s work for children are outlined below.

Early Learning

  • Senator Casey introduced the Child Care Access to Resources for Early-learning (Child CARE) Act, which would provide grants to states to expand access to high-quality child care for families with children under age four who live at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act, which would expand the scope of the already-existing Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, allowing families with an adjusted gross income up to $120,000 to take advantage of the full credit amount.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Prepare All Kids Act which would provide at least one year of voluntary high quality pre-kindergarten, with a focus on children from low-income families and children with special needs. He is also a cosponsor of the Strong Start for America’s Children Act which would fund preschool for four-year-old children from families earning incomes below 200% of the federal poverty level and encourage states to spend their own funds to support preschool for young children with family incomes above that income level.

Education

  • Senator Casey has been a champion of ensuring protections for students with disabilities. In addition to fighting for funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Senator Casey introduced the Empowering Parents and Students through Information Act (ESSA). This bill requires that students with disabilities are given an equal chance at academic success as their peers, and that parents are engaged in determining what type of assessment their child takes. This language was included in ESSA and is now law.
  • Senator Casey is leading a bipartisan effort in the Senate to renew the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which provides 12 million students nationwide with the training and education necessary for success in high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand career fields like engineering, information technology, and health care. This education is critical in preparing our students for success in the 21st century economy.
  • Senator Casey is the author and longtime sponsor of the Safe Schools Improvement Act, which would prohibit bullying and harassment in K-12 schools based on sexual orientation or gender identity. He is also a cosponsor of the Student Non-Discrimination Act, which would expand federal civil rights statutes to include a protection in schools against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

Economic Security for Families

  • Senator Casey cosponsored the Working Families Tax Relief Act, which would help low-income individuals and families with children. Parts of these bills were passed in the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act in December 2015, including permanent improvements the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and Child Tax Credit.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit Enhancement Act, which helps make child care more affordable, by expanding and improving access to the tax credit for low and middle income families.
  • Senator Casey introduced the Foster EITC Act, which would extend the EITC to foster youth at age 18. The bill provides assistance to youth exiting foster care, who often lack familial support in their transition to adulthood.
  • Senator Casey supported a provision in the PATH Act to make college more affordable for low-to-middle income families by permanently extending and enhancing the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which provides up to a $2,500 tax credit to offset the cost of college.

Supporting Child Nutrition

  • As a Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, Senator Casey works on a bipartisan basis to develop policies to ensure that children and all Americans have access to safe, affordable and nutritious foods. Healthy, nutritious food is critically important to the health and well-being of our children. That is why he supported the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016 and the Fruit and Vegetable Snack Program in the Farm Bill.
  • Senator Casey sponsored a bill that would extend WIC eligibility for children to age six, rather than cutting kids off on their fifth birthdays. The Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act would also extend WIC certification period for infants to two years, rather than the current one year, so WIC offices can focus on service rather than paperwork.
  • Senator Casey is concerned about the children of low-income, working parents who rely on the Child and Adult Care Food Program, or CACFP, as a quality source of nutrition. For many young children, the meals they eat in child care programs are the most nutritious meals they eat all week. CACFP provides healthy, nutritious meals to more than 3 million children each day who are in Head Start, Early Head Start and child care programs in both centers and family child care homes. Senator Casey is proud to be the sponsor of legislation, the Access to Healthy Food for Young Children Act, to improve and support CACFP.
  • Provisions from these two bills Senator Casey introduced were included in the child nutrition reauthorization bill passed by the Senate Agriculture Committee. They will help shrink the gaps in our nutrition safety net to better serve the needs of vulnerable children by providing an extra snack for kids in daycare for long hours and allowing young children to stay on WIC until they enter kindergarten or age 6.
  • Senator Casey was proud to champion the Community Eligibility Program in the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act of 2010. Community eligibility allows schools in high-poverty areas to offer free meals to all students without collecting paper applications, which will expand access to more children and reduce administrative burdens on schools.

Protecting Children & Promoting Stable Families

  • Senator Casey has long supported the adoption tax credit. The Affordable Care Act included a Casey amendment that extended the credit for 2010 and 2011, increased the amount of the credit from $10,000 to $13,170, and made it refundable for those two years. The original tax credit, without these enhancements, was later extended through 2012, and then made permanent in 2013.
  • He also authored S. 950, the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act, which will once again make the adoption tax credit refundable, ensuring that lower- and moderate- income families reap the full benefit of the tax credit. This tax credit is an important tool in encouraging adoption.
  • Senator Casey authored the Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act (S. 2687), which improves the Plan of Safe Care requirement under the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act. This requirement is designed to protect vulnerable infants who have been affected by substance abuse, withdrawal, or Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder. Improving this requirement will help protect children whose mothers are struggling with opioid abuse. This bill was included in the Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Act (CARA) in 2016 as Sec. 503, the Infant Plan of Safe Care Improvement Act, and was signed into law on July 22, 2016.
  • The Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid (Speak Up) Act (S. 2352) would require that all states adopt laws to ensure that adults and communities understand their responsibilities to protect children by reporting incidents of known or suspected child abuse or neglect to the appropriate state authorities. The bill sets a federal floor for child abuse and neglect reporting.
  • The Protecting Our Infants Act (S. 799), which Senator Casey authored with Senator McConnell in 2015, is improving how the Department of Health and Human Services addresses Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, which affects infants whose mothers used opioids during pregnancy. This bill was signed into law in November 2015.

Promoting Child Health

  • Senator Casey has continuously championed the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). CHIP is a state-run, federally- and state-funded program that provides affordable, quality health insurance to children in low-income families who do not qualify for Medicaid.
  • Senator Casey introduced the DXM Abuse Prevention Act (S. 2994), which seeks to prohibit sales of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products containing dextromethorphan to minors unless they meet emancipated status. Approximately 5 percent of teens have used these products to get high (“robotripping,” after Robitussin, one of the well-known cough suppressants containing dextromethorphan).[1]
  • Senator Casey authored the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014, which reauthorized the Emergency Medical Services for Children program through FY 2019. This program ensures that services for children are well integrated into medical emergency services systems by funding and supporting pediatric emergency care improvement projects in every state and territory.[2] This bill is now law.
  • Senator Casey created a new incentive to encourage development of new therapies for rare pediatric diseases. The Creating Hope Act encourages pharmaceutical companies to invest in drugs to treat rare pediatric diseases by providing successful companies with a “voucher” to speed the approval of another product, such as one the company expects will generate a lot of revenue. Provisions based on this bill were included in the Food and Drug Administration Safety and Innovation Act, which became law in 2012.  The program was extended through December 31, 2016 by the Advancing Hope Act, which also made important improvements to the program when it was signed into law.

Resources for Pennsylvania children

  • To apply for benefits in Pennsylvania for your child or a child in your custody, please visit https://www.compass.state.pa.us/. Through COMPASS, you can apply for:
    • Medical Assistance or CHIP
    • Early Intervention Services
    • Intellectual Disability Services
    • Autism Services
    • Long Term Living Services
    • Cash Assistance
    • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
    • SNAP (food stamps)
    • School Meals
  • If you or your child needs health insurance, please visit the health insurance marketplace at www.healthcare.gov for information on how to find health insurance, when to enroll, determine your family’s eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP or a subsidy for private insurance, and other resources. Open season, when anyone can enroll, occurs annually in November and December, but you may be able to enroll at another time if you experience a change like losing another source of insurance, getting married/divorced or having a baby. You can also call 1-800-318-2596, or find local help.

[1] According to the 2011 National Institute on Drug Abuse study, Monitoring the Future.

[2] http://mchb.hrsa.gov/programs/emergencymedical/

Latest

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  • Senate Advances Bipartisan Legislation Sponsored by Senators Casey and Burr to Enhance the ABLE Act

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  • On Women’s Equality Day: Casey, Maloney Call for GAO Study to Determine Why Women Pay More for Everyday Products

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  • Casey Demands Answers From Dept. of Defense, Federal Agencies on Water Contamination in Southeast PA

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  • Casey Calls For Stop To Domestic Violence Victims’ Evictions

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  • Casey Calls for Funding to Combat Zika

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  • CPSC and IKEA Announce a Recall to Prevent Future Injuries and Deaths from Tip-overs of Malm Dresser

    Following efforts from U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and IKEA today announced a recall to prevent future injuries and deaths from tip-overs of the IKEA Malm dresser. In February, a 22-month old from Apple Valley, Minnesota was killed by a falling Malm dresser; however, his family was unaware of the danger the Malm dresser posed, including two previous deaths from Malm dresser tip-overs. After these two deaths, IKEA and the CPSC announced a repair program to provide owners a free wall anchoring kit but IKEA has stated that it has distributed only 300,000 new wall anchors, which only cover about one percent of the 29 million dressers sold. Today, after urging from the lawmakers, the CPSC and IKEA announced a recall of Malm dressers, stopping the sale of Malm dressers until safety improvements are made, and offering a refund for consumers who have purchased Malm dressers. These are the actions the lawmakers called on the CPSC to take in their letter last month. Read More


  • How ‘pro-gun’ Bob Casey became an evangelist for gun control laws

    Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. is one of the most unlikely evangelists for sweeping gun-control laws. A decade ago the Pennsylvania Democrat won his Senate seat as a "pro life, pro gun" candidate, largely in the mold of his late father, a popular governor who fought his party's liberal social values. His early stances on guns skewed right, including a 2009 vote allowing guns on Amtrak trains, and when a TV reporter in Pittsburgh informed him of the early details of the December 2012 elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Casey gave what he now calls “the standard” answer. Read More


  • The Senate can act to prevent guns from falling into the wrong hands

    The massacre at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn., in December 2012 had a profound impact on how I would vote as a member of the U.S. Senate. I was in Pittsburgh when the news broke on that awful Friday and later, as I traveled by car for over four hours between Pittsburgh and Scranton, the news from Connecticut worsened. By the time I arrived home the world knew that 20 beautiful first graders and six adults had been murdered by a gunman carrying a high-powered military-style weapon that could fire bullets rapidly. During the weekend that followed, my wife, Terese, and our four daughters asked me a basic question: "How will you vote when gun bills come before the Senate?" Up to that point in time, although the Senate had not voted on major gun bills in years, if asked, I would have said “passing new gun laws will not prevent mass shootings.” The indescribable horror of Newtown changed my view. Read More


  • As a Father, the Sexual Assault Crisis on College Campuses Is Personal

    As a father to four daughters, including one in college, the sexual assault crisis on college campuses is personal. Every time a college student is the victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence or stalking, we as a nation have failed that student. We must continue to build healthy, safe communities where students can learn and grow without fear, and where victims are provided immediate assistance and perpetrators are appropriately punished. As elected officials, but also as fathers, Governor Wolf and I take this responsibility seriously. On campuses, we must all step up to do the right thing: intervene before a problem occurs; promote dialogue and respect among members of the campus community; provide support and justice to victims. … 

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  • Casey, Klobuchar, Blumenthal Introduce Legislation Protecting Children From Tipping Furniture

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), joined by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), introduced the Stop Tip-overs of Unstable, Risky Dressers on Youth (STURDY) Act. The legislation comes as serious safety concerns have arisen from fatal tip-over incidents involving children in PA and across the nation. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), tip-overs of furniture, TVs, and appliances cause over 25,400 injuries per year as children are crushed, trapped or struck by falling objects, and the majority of these incidents involve furniture tip-overs. Read More


  • Casey Backs Major LGBT Civil Rights Bill

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he is cosponsoring a major LGBT civil rights bill, the Equality Act. The Equality Act expands current civil rights laws to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in public accommodations, education, federal financial assistance, employment, housing, credit, and federal jury service. The Equality Act accomplishes this by amending current law, primarily the Civil Rights Act (CRA), to expand existing protections. Read More


  • Zika and Pregnancy - What You Should Know

    Zika virus disease (Zika) spreads to people mainly through the bite of two species of infected mosquitoes, one of which is more likely to transmit Zika. In past outbreaks, most people have not gotten sick, so people may not even know they are infected. Based on current knowledge, the greatest risk for complications from Zika is to a pregnant woman's fetus. If a pregnant woman is infected with Zika, she can pass the virus to her fetus. Zika has been linked to cases of microcephaly, a serious birth defect, and is a sign that the baby is born with a smaller brain, which can result in medical problems and impaired development. Researchers are working to understand more about how Zika affects pregnant women and fetuses. Read More


  • Casey Announces Passage of Legislation to Combat Global Hunger

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that his legislation, the Global Food Security Act, which aims to attack global hunger and bolster U.S. national security, has passed the Senate. The bipartisan legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and 13 senators, calls for the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to assist developing countries in combatting food insecurity. Read More


  • Casey Statement on the Passage of the ABLE Act in Pennsylvania

    Governor Wolf, Senator Lisa Baker of Luzerne County, and all the members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly are to be commended for the work they did to make my Achieving A Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) a reality in Pennsylvania. The ABLE Act will allow Pennsylvania families who have a loved one with a disability to save for their long term care through 529-style savings account, which are similar to what millions of families use to save for their children's college education. Too many families who have a loved one with a disability live in fear about what will happen if they are no longer there to take care of their child or family member. ABLE accounts, which can be used for needs like healthcare, housing or education, can provide these families with a measure of economic security and peace of mind. For someone with a disability the ABLE Act also means that they can work and earn money without fear of losing critical Social Security or Medicaid benefits. Read More


  • Casey Urges EPA and DOD to Protect Pennsylvania Residents From Contaminated Drinking Water

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), following reports that area residents have been exposed to contaminated drinking water, announced that he has written letters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Defense, urging them to work swiftly on this matter. Chemicals with potentially adverse effects on human health, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), were present in the drinking water of certain Pennsylvanian communications, leading residents of those areas to question whether the chemicals could have made them sick after potentially decades-long exposure. Read More


  • Casey: Minor Drug Offense Shouldn’t Affect Federal College Aid

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), along with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), announced that they have introduced the Stopping Unfair Collateral Consequences from Ending Student Success Act (SUCCESS Act), a bill to promote achievement in higher education by removing questions about prior drug charges. Specifically, the bipartisan bill repeals the section of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that strips federal financial aid for college students convicted of a drug offense. Data shows that students from low-income and minority backgrounds are disproportionately affected by the existing drug disqualification. Students convicted of drug offenses remain subject to criminal penalties for their offenses, but removing the higher education disqualification ensures that they are not subject to a second punishment. Read More


  • Casey Finishes 2015 With Major Legislative Wins

    As the 2015 legislative year comes to an end, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced several major legislative wins and public laws he led to passage on behalf of Pennsylvanians. 13 Casey led bills were enacted into law in 2015; 7 bills introduced by Casey, and 6 bills on which he served as the lead Democratic sponsor. These public laws will help improve the lives of Pennsylvanians across all spectrums, creating jobs, keeping kids in school by creating a more positive school climate, and keeping drivers safe by providing $73,796,694 annually to fix off-system bridges. Read More


  • Treasury Department Releases Guidelines For Landmark Casey ABLE Act Law

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released guidelines giving states guidance on the implementation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act, which U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) worked to pass in 2014, established new tax-advantaged savings accounts to allow people with disabilities and their families to save for their futures and help cover important expenses like education, housing, and wellness. In June, Senator Casey, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) sent a letter urging the U.S. Department of Treasury to provide timely guidance to help states move forward with the launch of ABLE programs so that families would be able to realize the law's benefits. Read More


  • IDEA 40th anniversary and Work to be done

    I join the Obama Administration and many of my colleagues in celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Before 1970, over one million students with disabilities were excluded from public schools. Thanks to the tireless work of advocates, today over six million children are served through special education programs in public schools. While we take this week to celebrate the progress of students with disabilities, we cannot slow down. Although students with disabilities are seeing greater success in K-12, there are still many barriers in terms of ensuring a smooth transition to inclusive postsecondary education and employment. This week I sent a letter to the Department of Education requesting increased access to information and improved data collection for students with disabilities so there are fewer obstacles to success in college. While the current online federal resources to help students navigate the college decision process are helpful, none exist for students with disabilities. By making small changes to the existing surveys from the Department of Education, we can help students and families access more information about disability services on campus. … 

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  • Casey, Murray, Warren Team Up On Bill For Foster Youth Tax Credit

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) announced today they introduced a bill called the Foster EITC Act, to increase the earned income tax credit (EITC) for childless adults, expand age eligibility for the childless EITC to 21 years of age for all working Americans and 18 years of age for youth formerly in foster care. The EITC is a federal tax credit for low- and moderate-income working individuals and families, and it is not currently available to workers under the age of 25 unless they are raising children. Read More


  • Casey Statement on Admission of Syrian Refugees

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and former Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, released a statement regarding the admission of Syrian refugees. Read More


  • Casey, McConnell Bill Addressing Prenatal Addiction and Infant Opioid Withdrawal Passes House; Now Goes to President for Signature

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced today that their legislation to address the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and infants suffering from opioid withdrawal was approved by the House of Representatives. The bipartisan Protecting Our Infants Act now goes to the President for his signature. Read More


  • Casey, Baldwin, Brown Take Action Against Childhood Poverty

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Child Poverty Act, which would establish a national target to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the United States.  Child poverty would be cut in half in the first 10 years, and completely eliminated in 20 years. To meet these goals, the bill tasks a Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Child Poverty with developing a plan that would include recommendations to improve the coordination and efficiency of existing initiatives as well as recommendations for new legislation that would be needed to meet the target. It also instructs the working group to monitor the level of progress being made towards achieving the goals at federal and state levels. Read More


  • First Focus Campaign for Children Names Casey a 2015 ‘Champion for Children’

    First Focus Campaign for Children announced U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) as a 2015 Champion for Children. First Focus, a national bipartisan children's advocacy organization, grants this award to the top 100 Members of Congress who work to represent children in legislation. This is the 5th year Senator Casey has earned the distinction. Read More


  • Casey, Sister M. Scullion, Team Up To Call For Increased Funding For Homeless Youth Assistance Grants

    Philadelphia, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the federal government to increase funding to dedicate resources for transitional and permanent housing for homeless youth. Joined by Sister Mary Scullion of Project HOME and local youth service providers, Sen. Casey discussed the need to increase funding for Homeless Assistance Grants and to commit funds specifically to combat youth homelessness. Read More


  • Casey, McConnell Bill Addressing Prenatal Addiction and Infant Opioid Withdrawal One Step Closer to Becoming Law

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), announced today that their legislation to address the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and infants suffering from opioid withdrawal passed the U.S. Senate. Senator Casey, a tireless advocate for the welfare of all children, introduced the Protecting Our Infants Act earlier this year with Senator McConnell. The legislation is now moving to the House of Representatives for consideration. Read More


  • Following Failure to Prosecute Individuals Complicit in GM Ignition-Switch Cover-Up, Blumenthal, Casey Re-Introduce Hide No Harm Act

    Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ranking Member of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, and Bob Casey (D-Pa.) introduced the Hide No Harm Act of 2015, legislation that would make it a crime for a corporate officer to knowingly conceal information about a corporate action or product that poses the danger of death or serious physical injury to consumers or workers. Under the legislation, any officer who conceals such information could face up to five years in prison and/or potential fines and any individual who reports potential danger to a federal regulatory agency or officer would be provided a safe harbor from criminal liability. This bill follows the settlement reached last month between the Department of Justice (DOJ) and General Motors (GM), which found no officers criminally liable for knowingly concealing information about a lethal safety defect that has caused more than 120 fatalities. Read More


  • Heroin Crisis: Casey Visits Local Addiction Treatment Provider And Highlights New Plans for Combatting Deadly Issue

    Norristown, PA- With a heroin crisis challenging communities across the state, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) visited a local addiction treatment provider and professional training center to discuss his support for a new plan to help fund prevention and treatment of opioid addiction. Deaths from drug overdoses in Pennsylvania now surpass deaths from car accidents. In 2013, 2.4 million Americans abused or were dependent on opioids, yet only half received treatment. Casey was joined by Gaudenzia's CEO Michael Harle, Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh, and a recovering heroin addict who shared his personal story. Casey highlighted the Treatment and Recovery Investment Act, S.1410, which would increase funding for prevention and treatment programs, including recovery programs for teenagers and pregnant women. Read More


  • Senators McConnell and Casey’s Protecting Our Infants Act Advances

    U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced today their bipartisan legislation, the Protecting Our Infants Act, was approved by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). The Senators introduced the bill earlier this year, and it's expected to be considered by the full Senate soon. Read More


  • Casey, Vitter Lead Bipartisan Letter Calling on Appropriators to Reverse Course on Cuts to Preschool Development Grants

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and David Vitter (R-LA) announced that they have led a bipartisan group of thirteen Senators on a letter calling on appropriators to reverse course on cuts to Preschool Development Grants. The Senate and House Committees on Appropriations have each approved separate funding bills that eliminate the program which would reduce opportunities for high quality, early education for over 100,000 children. The cuts would be a $250 million reduction from fiscal year 2015 (FY15) and would be $750 million less than requested in the President's budget. Every public dollar spent on high-quality preschool returns up to $16 through a reduced need for spending on other services, such as remedial education, grade repetition, and special education, as well as increased productivity and earnings for these children as adults. Read More


  • Casey Calls for End to Childcare Backlog that Prevents Eligible Families Across PA from Receiving Childcare Aid

    Allentown PA- With just weeks to go before a government funding deadline, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for an end to the childcare backlog that keeps eligible families across Pennsylvania and throughout the nation from receiving childcare aid. 7,000 Pennsylvania families are on a waitlist for childcare aid, yet a House funding bill leaves investment for the upcoming fiscal year flat. Since the sequester went into effect in 2013, scores of vital programs have seen their funding squeezed due to across the board budget caps. At the Lehigh Valley Children's Centers, Casey, joined by children benefitting from childcare and providers, made the case for closing the funding gap ahead of this month’s deadline. Childcare helps parents work and care for their families while boosting the economy. Read More


  • Back To School But Not For All: Casey Calls for End to Opportunity Gap Keeping Thousands of Eligible Children from Attending Head Start and Early Head Start

    With kids heading back to school this week, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), highlighting county by county data, called to end the opportunity gap keeping thousands of eligible children from attending much needed Head Start and Early Head Start. Most recent data shows less than 10% of eligible Pennsylvania children up to three years old are able to attend Early Head Start which is generally due to lack of funding. The current funding gap leaves 10,000 eligible three to four year olds in Pennsylvania out of Head Start. Read More


  • Casey, Toomey Introduce Resolution Honoring Red Land Little League for Performance in 2015 Little League World Series

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) announced they introduced a resolution honoring the Red Land Little League Team of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, for their performance in the 2015 Little League World Series. The Little League team won the Little League Baseball World Series U.S. Championship on Sunday, August 29, defeating a team from Pearland, Texas with a walk-off hit in the bottom of the sixth inning to win 3-2. The resolution calls on the Senate to congratulate the team, as well as recognize the hard work of the team's members, parents, families, and coaches, including the people of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania, as well. Read More


  • Casey Calls for End to Head Start Opportunity Gap that Keeps Thousands of Eligible Children from Receiving Vital Early Learning Opportunities Due to Insufficient Funding

    Washington, PA- With the start of the school year around the corner, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for an end to the Head Start opportunity gap that keeps thousands of eligible children from receiving vital early learning opportunities due to lack of funding. The most recent data shows only 10% of eligible Pennsylvania children up to three years old are able to attend Head Start, which is generally due to lack of funding. Casey, joined by educators from the region, called on Congress to invest in Head Start so that all eligible children can have an opportunity to attend. Since sequestration, over $375 million was cut from Head Start. This translates to over 52,000 American children unserved. Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Bipartisan Plan that Would Allow PA Cities to Invest More in Youth Violence Reduction and Crime Prevention Strategies

    Philadelphia PA- Following a violent weekend in Philadelphia during which ten shootings occurred, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for an end to the school to prison pipeline and pushed for passage of a bipartisan plan that would allow Pennsylvania cities to invest more in proven crime prevention strategies like youth mentoring. In North Philadelphia, Casey was joined by law enforcement, mentorship groups and a youth advocate who was once a victim of gun violence to discuss the need to aid children before they encounter the criminal justice system and curb youth violence. As major criminal justice reform legislation works its way through Congress this year, Casey's legislation is backed by Republican Senators and could be included in the overhaul. Read More


  • Campus Sexual Assault: Casey Outlines New Protections Coming to Students this Fall

    Bradford, PA- With students preparing to come back to campus, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) detailed new campus sexual assault protections coming to college campuses for the first time this fall. At Pitt Bradford, Casey was joined by the school's President, Dr. Livingston Alexander, to discuss the challenge of sexual assaults on college campuses and detail the new protections. Casey’s law, the Campus SaVE Act, is responsible for these new protections. Passed during the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the law will be in effect for the first time this school year. The Campus SaVE Act requires uniform reporting standards for sexual assaults on college campuses and requires schools to provide clear guidelines to students on their sexual assault policies. The new law also emphasizes steps schools can take to educate students and help prevent sexual assault. Read More


  • Casey Presses Administration on Programs for Afghan Women and Girls

    Amid new concerns, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group, has sent a letter to the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) pressing the Administration for answers on the progress of programs designed to aid Afghan women and girls. Recent reporting has brought into question the number of Afghan girls attending schools and the quality of the infrastructure of those schools, among other concerns. In his letter to Larry Sampler, Assistant to the Administrator for Afghanistan and Pakistan Affairs, Casey called for a fresh review of the programs and for the Administration to provide metrics to gauge effectiveness. Read More


  • Campus Sexual Assault: With Students Preparing to Come Back to Campus, Casey Outlines New Protections Coming to Students this Fall

    With students preparing to come back to campus, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) detailed new campus sexual assault protections coming to college campuses for the first time this fall. At Wilkes University, Casey was joined by school administrators and victims' counselors to discuss the challenge of sexual assaults on college campuses and detail the new protections. Casey’s law, the Campus SaVE Act, is responsible for these new protections. Passed during the 2013 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the law will be in effect for the first time this school year. The Campus SaVE Act requires uniform reporting standards for sexual assaults on college campuses and requires schools to provide clear guidelines to students on their sexual assault policies. The new law also emphasizes steps schools can take to educate students and help prevent sexual assault. Read More


  • Casey, Doctors at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, Push New Plan to Drive Research, Help Find Cures

    Pittsburgh PA- With an important incentive for drug development to treat rare pediatric diseases set to expire in less than a year, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by doctors at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, pushed to make the incentive permanent to continue encouraging drug development that could help find cures for severe diseases and conditions that impact a small number of children. Casey’s new legislation, the Advancing Hope Act, introduced with Senator Johnny Isakson of Georgia, will build off of a successful pilot program the Senator successfully passed into law that has incentivized drug companies to research treatments for rare, life-altering diseases that impact pediatric patients and are challenging to develop because so few children are diagnosed. Doctors at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC discussed the intense challenges that children and families face when confronted with rare pediatric diseases and the need for new treatments. Read More


  • Casey Introduces Bill to Fix Glitch that Could Kick Former Foster Youth Off of Medicaid

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has introduced legislation, The Health Insurance for Former Foster Youth Act, that would fix a glitch in the current healthcare system that could kick former foster youth off Medicaid if they move to a different state. Casey's bill would extend Medicaid coverage to age 26 for all former foster youth who were in foster care on their 18th birthday and were already enrolled in Medicaid, no matter what state they live in.  Congress intended to provide this coverage through the Affordable Care Act, to create parity between these individuals and young adults who can stay on their parent’s health insurance until the age of 26. However, the law has been implemented in a way that leaves some former foster youth out if they move to another state. Read More


  • Casey Legislation Inspired by Kids for Cash Is Included in Major Juvenile Justice Reform Bill Moving Through Congress

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that they have introduced legislation, the Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act, which would reform the juvenile justice system and bar the detention of juveniles for so-called 'status offenses.' Currently juveniles can be detained for status offense crimes like truancy but Casey and Paul’s bill would end the practice. Earlier last year, Casey held a viewing of the Kids for Cash documentary where he first discussed his plans to introduce the reform bill. The legislation has been included as part of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act (JJDPA) reauthorization increasing the likelihood that the measure will become law. Read More


  • New Casey Legislation Helps More Vulnerable Children in Home Daycare Access Healthy, Nutritious Food

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation, the Access to Healthy Foods for Young Children Act, that would help more vulnerable children in Pennsylvania and across the nation in home daycare programs access healthy, nutritious food. Currently, children in home daycare programs can access food assistance when 50% of their neighborhood, as calculated by Census or school data, is eligible for free or reduced price lunch at school. Casey's legislation would lower the threshold to 40% allowing more children from low income families to access vital aid. Another major provision of the legislation would allow daycares to serve 3rd meals during the day for children who are there eight hours or more. Read More


  • Press Highlights for the Week of July 12th

    Casey Presses for Action on Avian Flu Crisis- "Redding expressed appreciation for Wolf's assistance and also said the U.S. Department of Agriculture has been an invaluable ally as the nation fights the current outbreaks. U.S. Sen. Bob Casey recently pressed for adequate continued funding for its efforts. Redding said he supports Casey’s push. To date, Redding said, the USDA has covered all of the cleaning and disposal and recovery cost in other states that are affecting; he would like to see them continue to do that. There are also some staffing issues that are developing and need to be addressed; for instance, he said, the USDA has two poultry appraisers in Pennsylvania, and one of them is expected to retire soon." Lancaster Online, 7/16/15) Read More


  • Casey Unveils Plan to Close the WIC Gap- Policy that Kicks Young PA Children Off Nutrition Assistance Before They Enter School

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), detailing county by county data, unveiled a plan to close the 'WIC Gap' a policy that kicks young Pennsylvania children off of vital nutrition assistance before they enter school. Vulnerable children in Pennsylvania and across the nation are eligible for the Women Infants and Children (WIC) program up to age five at which point it was assumed many enter public school where they may qualify for school breakfast and lunch programs that continue to supplement their intake of healthy food choices. However, a child’s birth date im­pacts their eligibility to enter school. A significant number of children remain ineligible for school well past their fifth birthday - sometimes for as much as a year. Casey’s legislation, the Wise Investment in our Children (WIC) Act would allow States to extend eligibil­ity for children to age six in order to close the gap. Read More


  • Casey, Inhofe, Peters and Vitter Introduce Criminal Justice Reform Legislation that Seeks to Blunt School to Prison Pipeline

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), James Inhofe (R-OK), Gary Peters (D-MI) and David Vitter (R-LA) announced that they have introduced criminal justice reform legislation that seeks to blunt the school to prison pipeline. The bipartisan Youth PROMISE Act allows local governments to use more of their existing federal funding to invest in youth violence prevention programs, like mentoring. The plan, which is complimented by companion legislation in the House of Representatives, aims to help empower local communities to implement evidence-based programs that aid at risk youth before they encounter the criminal justice system. Read More


  • Press Highlights for the Week of July 5th

    Casey, Senate Democrats push Pre-K Amendment for No Child left Behind Fix- "Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey (D) is offering an amendment to the bipartisan rewrite of No Child Left Behind that would provide universal pre-K for five years. The amendment would close the corporate tax inversions loophole in order to fund it. That would provide around $30 billion in funding, which Casey's office based off of the $33.5 billion that would be saved if the Stop Corporate Inversions Act of 2014 passed. The act would have made it more difficult for companies to move their tax-reporting address overseas and avoid U.S. taxes. The legislation was referred to House Committee on Ways and Means."(Think Progress, 7/7/15) Read More


  • Casey Introduces Amendment to Fund Universal Pre-K By Ending Corporate Inversions Tax Loophole

    With the rewrite of No Child Left Behind hitting the Senate floor this week, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has introduced an amendment that would fund universal pre-k by ending the corporate inversions tax loophole. The inversions loophole allows U.S. companies to claim they are headquartered overseas and avoid U.S. taxes. The measure could receive a vote as soon as this week. It would invest $30 billion in voluntary, locally driven pre-K programs. Casey has introduced a universal pre-k bill each Congress since 2008. Read More


  • Spotlight on Childhood Hunger in Pittsburgh: Casey Pushes to Expand Access to Summer Feeding Programs and Alerts Residents to Local Feeding Sites for Vulnerable Children

    Pittsburgh PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey spotlighted childhood hunger in Pittsburgh, pushed for expanded access to summer feeding programs and alerted residents to local feeding sites for vulnerable children. 80% of Pittsburgh school children are eligible for free or reduced price lunch during the school year, yet 9 out of 10 don't take advantage of summer feeding programs. There are over 160 sites across Allegheny County that are working to ensure children don’t go hungry during the summer months. Read More


  • Casey: End Airline Fees on Parents for Booking Seats Next to Their Young Children

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to the Federal Aviation Administration's Administrator, Michael Huerta, urging the agency to take steps to ensure that parents and guardians are allowed to sit next to their children on a plane without having to pay additional fees. As consumers continue to face a bevy of fees during air travel, recent reporting has indicated that parents seeking to sit next to their young children continue to be hit with additional fees. It has been reported that one customer was charged $88 to sit next to his 4-year old child on a recent flight on which multiple adjoining economy seats were available.   Read More


  • Treasury Department Issues Rules to Implement Casey’s Landmark ABLE Act Law

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that, following a letter recently sent with Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Burr (R-NC), the Department of Treasury and the IRS have published the proposed regulations implementing the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act.  The ABLE Act, which Casey worked to pass in 2014, established new tax-advantaged savings accounts to allow people with disabilities and their families to save for their futures and help cover important expenses like education, housing, and wellness. Read More


  • Casey, Klobuchar, Burr Urge Treasury to Give States the Guidance They Need to Implement ABLE Act

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Richard Burr (R-NC) are urging the U.S. Department of Treasury to give states guidance on the implementation of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act, which the senators helped champion through Congress, establishes new tax-advantaged savings accounts to allow people with disabilities and their families to save for their futures and help cover important expenses like education, housing, and wellness. Read More


  • Casey, Joined by Lehigh Valley Students and Educators, Calls for Bipartisan Anti-Bullying Bill’s Inclusion in Overhaul

    Bethlehem, PA- As a major education reform bill moves through the Senate, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Lehigh Valley students and educators, called for inclusion of ‎his bipartisan anti-bullying bill in the overhaul today at a press conference. Students and educators from the region also discussed the challenges from bullying and the need to confront it. A Department of Education study has found that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. Casey's bill, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, would require school districts across the country to develop and implement locally driven anti-bullying policies. Read More


  • Casey, Highlighting New Data, Pushes For Up or Down Vote on Paycheck Fairness Act This Year

    On the heels of Equal Pay Day, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), highlighting new data, pushed for an up or down vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act this year. A 2013 study showed Pennsylvania's wage gap is 40th among states, which is worse than states like Kentucky and Oklahoma. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act would finally give workers the tools they need to find gender discrimination in pay. Right now women are paid just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. The pay gap translates to $10,876 in lost median earnings per year and has impacts for workers later in life as women are twice as likely to retire in poverty. Read More


  • Casey, Blunt Introduce Legislation to Make Adoption Tax Credit Fully Refundable

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) announced that they have introduced the Adoption Tax Credit Refundability Act of 2015 which will make the current adoption tax credit fully refundable. Making the tax credit fully refundable will ensure that more families will benefit. Right now, many adopting families do not have enough income to benefit from the credit at all. Read More


  • Casey Statement on Equal Pay Day

    "Equal Pay Day is an important reminder of the work we still need to do to ensure that women are paid the same wages as men. It is unconscionable that, despite doing the same work, women are paid just 78 cents for every dollar a man makes.  The wage gap translates to $10,876 less in median earnings for women each year.  This injustice is not just a matter of basic fairness - it strikes at the heart of our economy where increasingly families rely on women as the primary bread winner.  This discrepancy also has lasting repercussions making women twice as likely as men to retire in poverty.  That is why I voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allows workers a chance to address these disparities.  It is why I continue to push for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.  It is inexcusable that this bill has languished so long.  It is time to pass it now." Read More


  • Casey, Senators Urge Majority Leader to Allow Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to Have Up or Down Vote

    In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and fellow Senate Democrats formally called for an up-or-down vote on the Senate floor on four policies that garnered significant Republican support when they were considered as non-binding amendments to the Budget resolution only two weeks ago. Specifically, the senators called for up-or-down votes on legislation to protect pregnant workers from discrimination, provide paid sick leave for workers, ensure same sex couples have equal access to federal benefits and enact tax cuts for middle class families. Read More


  • Casey, Reed Introduce Better Educator Support & Training (BEST) Act to Bolster Teacher Resources

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Jack Reed (D-RI) announced the introduction of the Better Educator Support & Training (BEST) Act, which would work to improve resources for teachers by equipping educators with resources through additional, targeted funding. The BEST Act seeks to support teachers, principals, and other educators, as well as improve academic achievement through requiring the implementation of evidence-based strategies. Read More


  • 100-0: Casey Budget Amendment to Establish New Workplace Rights for Pregnant Workers Passes Unanimously

    Senator Bob Casey's budget amendment to establish new workplace rights for pregnant workers passed the Senate 100-0. The amendment was based upon the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. The bill, which was first introduced in 2012 and led by Casey and Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), would protect pregnant workers from discrimination in the workplace. Specifically the bill would require employers to make reasonable accommodations, like using a stool while working at a cash register or carrying a bottle of water, for pregnant women. The legislation also protects women from retribution when asking for these reasonable accommodations. Tonight’s unanimous vote is a major step forward for the legislation that would usher in a major reform to workplace rights and clear up any ambiguity from the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Young vs UPS. Read More


  • Casey, Highlighting School District by School District Data, Releases New Report on Impact of GOP Budget on PA Children

    With the budget on the floor of the Senate, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) highlighted school district by school district data while releasing a new report on the impact of the Senate GOP's budget on children. Critical programs like SNAP, special education and head start would face draconian cuts harming vulnerable children throughout Pennsylvania. One estimate has shown that the Senate GOP budget would mean 1,250 fewer Head Start slots for Pennsylvania’s children each year over the next decade. Casey’s report sheds new light on the full impact that the budget, which is slated for a vote this week, would have on the Commonwealth’s children. Read More


  • Casey Leads Entire Democratic Caucus On New Letter that Pushes for Early Learning Investments in ESEA Reauthorization

    As an effort to pass a critical reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act moves forward, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to the Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) pushing for substantial investments in early learning in any ESEA reauthorization bill. Casey's letter, which was joined by 44 Senators, was addressed to Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA) and made the case that significant funding of early learning programs would be critical to gaining bipartisan support. Read More


  • Casey, Shaheen, Nadler Release Statement Following Young v. UPS Supreme Court Decision

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Congressman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) released statements following the Supreme Court's decision in Young v. UPS. Casey, Shaheen and Nadler are the authors of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA), which would require employers to offer pregnant workers reasonable accommodations so they can work during their pregnancy. Casey, Shaheen and Nadler also led over 120 members of Congress on an amicus brief to the Supreme Court in support of Peggy Young’s claims. The members will be introducing the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act in the coming weeks. Read More


  • Casey to Introduce, Call for Vote on Pregnant Worker Discrimination Amendment to Budget

    Following a ruling from the Supreme Court in the Young v. UPS pregnancy discrimination case, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he will introduce and call for a vote on an amendment to the budget that would protect pregnant workers from workplace discrimination. The budget amendment is based upon Casey's Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers during their pregnancy. Read More


  • Casey Presses Leading Insurance Industry Trade Group on Potentially Dangerous Power Morcellators

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has sent a letter to Karen Ignagni, President of America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), pressing the trade group on ways in which insurers can work with other stakeholders to protect patients from potentially dangerous power morcellators. There is increasing evidence that the use of power morcellators during hysterectomies to treat uterine fibroids (an otherwise benign condition) can spread certain types of uterine cancer, known as sarcomas, throughout the abdomen during surgery. While women are examined and tested for potential uterine cancers before such surgery, some sarcomas simply cannot be detected. By spreading the cancer beyond the uterus, the procedure can dramatically advance the stage of the cancer, and significantly reduces the patient’s chance of surviving the cancer. Read More


  • Casey, Philly Educators Push for Universal Pre-K

    Philadelphia PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Philadelphia educators pushed for universal pre-k. In the coming weeks the Senate could take up a major revamp of the country's education system, the Elementary and Secondary Education Reauthorization Act (ESEA). The fate of investments in early learning in the bill remain uncertain. Casey recently introduced a universal pre-k bill, the Prepare All Kids Act. ‎ Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Increased Head Start Funding

    Allentown, PA- Amid new attempts in the Republican budget to gut early learning programs, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for increased Head Start funding in the upcoming budget. Even as evidence that early learning leads to better outcomes for kids continues to mount, the newly released GOP budget could slash funding for essential programs like Head Start. Casey is the author of the Senate's leading universal pre-k bill, the Prepare All Kids Act. Casey was joined by educators to make the case for continuing to invest in early learning, and tour an Early Head Start class. Read More


  • Casey Unveils Expanded Child Care Tax Credit

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee unveiled an expanded child care tax credit. The current child care tax credit begins to phase out after $15,000 in income, leaving out many middle class Pennsylvania families. At the same time, new data shows that the cost of raising a child is increasing dramatically. A recent Pew study of Census Bureau data found that average weekly child-care expenses, measured in inflation-adjusted 2013 dollars, rose from $87 in 1985 to $148 in 2013, an increase of more than 70 percent. Mark Lino, an economist at the Department of Agriculture, has found that raising a child born in 2013 will cost an average of $245,340 through age 17 an increase of more than 23 percent from 1960 when adjusted for inflation. Read More


  • Casey, Maloney: Workers Should Have Right to Request Flexible Work Arrangement Without Fear of Retribution

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY) introduced new legislation, the Flexibility for Working Families Act, that would ensure that workers have the right to request a flexible work arrangement without fear of retribution. Even as the number of households with single parents or both parents working outside the home has increased laws haven't kept pace with the new realities. The bill provides employers with flexibility by encouraging them to review these requests, propose changes, and even deny them if they are not considered in the best interest of their business. Read More


  • New Casey Statement Pushes Back on Extreme Effort

    Senator Bob Casey, a member of the Senate Finance and Agriculture Committees, released a statement following a new report (link) that Senate Republicans will attempt to gut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid in their upcoming budget. The report of cuts comes even as economic data continues to show that $1 invested in SNAP generated $1.70 in economic growth. According to the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, 3/4 of SNAP benefits go to families with children and that 1/3 of beneficiaries are seniors and those with disabilities. Yet another attempt by Senate Republicans to block grant Medicaid could leave millions without coverage. Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Legislation that Would Extend Critical Health Insurance Program for Nation’s Children Through 2019

    With funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) set to expire this year, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for legislation that would extend this critical program that aids millions of children across the nation. Some in the Senate and the House of Representatives are advocating cuts to CHIP, which helps 271,000 Pennsylvania children get healthcare each year. Casey highlighted county by county data showing the impact of CHIP across Pennsylvania and make the case that a long term extension will give families additional security and help states plan their budgets. Read More


  • Casey, 211 Members of Congress File Supreme Court Brief in Support of Marriage Equality

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has joined 211 members of Congress in filing an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of marriage equality as the court considers the issue during this term. The four cases from Ohio, Tennessee, Michigan and Kentucky challenge state laws that prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and deny recognition to lawful marriages performed by other states. The Supreme Court will decide whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the freedom to marry and to have their marriages respected nationwide.  Read More


  • Casey, Joined by Bucks County Students, Educators, and School Leaders Pushes for Bipartisan Anti-Bullying Bill

    Warminster, PA- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Bucks County students, educators and school leaders, pushed for passage of his bipartisan anti-bullying bill. Students and educators from the region discussed the challenges of bullying and the need to confront it. A Department of Education study has found that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. Casey's bill, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, would require school districts across the country to develop and implement locally driven anti-bullying policies. Read More


  • Casey Unveils Universal Pre-K Bill

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled a bill to provide universal pre-k to children in Pennsylvania and across the nation. Casey's bill, the Prepare All Kids Act, would provide one year of voluntary, high quality prekindergarten to all children. Additionally, as Congress moves toward a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) Casey unveiled new legislation, the Continuum of Learning Act, which could be offered as an amendment and would strengthen coordination and alignment between early childhood programs and elementary schools. As universal pre-k advances in states like Oklahoma and New York, Casey’s bill is set to serve a federal model. Read More


  • Casey Meets with PA Hunger Advocates from Across State, Vows to Fight Attempts to Gut Program that Aids Vulnerable Children and Seniors

    As reporting indicates that the House Republicans could consider new draconian cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) met with hunger advocates from across Pennsylvania and vowed to fight new attempts to the gut SNAP which aids vulnerable children and seniors throughout the nation. In previous years House Republicans have proposed cutting SNAP by as much as $40 billion despite independent analyses showing that a $1 investment in SNAP generates $1.75 in economic growth. Read More


  • Casey, Center for American Progress Unveil New Analysis Showing How Rising Income Inequality Has Jeopardized Solvency of Social Security Trust Funds

    oday, Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, along with Center for American Progress Executive Vice President for Policy Carmel Martin, unveiled a new CAP analysis showing how rising income inequality has jeopardized the solvency of the Social Security trust funds and poses a threat to their long-term financial health. Senator Casey and Ms. Martin discussed the findings of CAP's new issue brief, which revealed how much larger the trust funds would be had the average worker’s wages kept pace with productivity gains over the past three decades. Read More


  • Casey: Administration’s Budget Shortchanges Bipartisan Program to Fund Children’s Hospitals in PA and Throughout Nation

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Administration's budget shortchanges a bipartisan program that connects graduate medical students with pediatric patients. The Administration only requests $100 million for the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program despite signing into law a bipartisan Casey bill authorizing $300 million in funding. CHGME provides freestanding children’s hospitals with federal graduate medical education (GME) support similar to the funding that other teaching hospitals receive through Medicare. Read More


  • Casey Calls on FDA to Consider Ban Against Powdered Caffeine that Poses Dangers to Children Across PA and Throughout Nation

    Philadelphia PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Health Education Labor and Pensions Committee (HELP) and Ranking Member of its Subcommittee on Children and Families, called on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to consider a ban on the sale of powdered caffeine that poses dangers to children across Pennsylvania and throughout the nation. Recent deaths in Ohio and Georgia have highlighted the dangers to children when 100% pure caffeine is ingested. According to the FDA, a single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Pure caffeine is currently being sold by certain retailers, and in bulk online. An FDA ban could protect children from these increasing dangers. Senator Casey released a new letter to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg making the case for action. Read More


  • New Casey-Backed Bill Would Make Discrimination and Violence Against LGBT Community a Priority for U.S. Government

    In the wake of President Obama's commitment in the State of the Union to defend the human rights of the LGBT community, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has co-sponsored bicameral legislation to affirm that LGBT human rights are a foreign policy priority for the U.S. government. The International Human Rights Defense Act would direct the State Department to make preventing and responding to discrimination and violence against the LGBT community a foreign policy priority and devise a global strategy to achieve those goals. The legislation would establish a Special Envoy position in the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor to coordinate that effort. More than 80 nations around the world have laws that criminalize homosexuality, prohibit public support for the LGBT community, or promote homophobia. In seven countries, homosexuality is punishable by death. Read More


  • Casey, Joined by NEPA Students and Educators, Unveils Bipartisan Anti-Bullying Bill

    Old Forge, PA - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by NEPA students and educators, unveiled his bipartisan anti-bullying in schools bill. Casey's bill would require schools districts across the country to develop and implement locally driven anti-bullying policies that protect vulnerable children. A Department of Education study found that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. Casey highlighted a school district estimate that works to show the potential impact across the state. Read More


  • Casey Unveils Bipartisan Anti-Bullying in Schools Bill

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled his bipartisan anti-bullying in schools bill. Casey's bill would require schools districts across the country to develop and implement locally driven anti-bullying policies that protect vulnerable children. A Department of Education study found that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. Casey highlighted a school district estimate that works to show the potential impact across the state. Read More


  • Casey Becomes Leading Democrat on Two Subcommittees Key to Work on Children's Issues

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he has been named the leading Democrat on two subcommittees that are critical to children's issues on both the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), and the Senate Committee on Agriculture. Casey will serve as the Democratic Ranking Member on both the HELP Subcommittee on Children and Families, and the Agriculture Subcommittee on Nutrition, Specialty Crops and Agriculture. Read More


  • Casey, Joined by Philly Students and Educators, Unveils Bipartisan Anti-Bullying Bill

    Philadelphia PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Philadelphia students and educators, unveiled his bipartisan anti-bullying bill, which is set for introduction in the U.S. Senate this week. Students and educators from the region discussed the challenges from bullying and the need to confront it. A Department of Education study has found that 1 in 3 children between the ages of 12 and 18 will be impacted by bullying. Casey's bill, the Safe Schools Improvement Act, would require school districts across the country to develop and implement locally driven anti-bullying policies. Read More


  • Sen Casey, Rep Crenshaw to Sit Together At State of the Union Address to Highlight Passage of ABLE Act

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL) announced that they will sit together at tonight's State of the Union address to highlight the recent passage of their bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act, which became law as part of the end of year tax extenders bill, would allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long term care through 529-style accounts. Read More


  • Casey Presses Administration on Tobyhanna Wage Disparity

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pressed the Administration on efforts to end the persistent wage disparity at Tobyhanna Army Depot. Despite promises the Administration has failed to address why some Tobyhanna workers are included in the New York labor market and others who perform similar work are not. This different classification creates a wage disparity because those not classified in the New York labor market receive less pay. In a letter to the heads of the government's Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Casey demanded a quick resolution to the wage disparity issue Read More


  • Casey Backs DOMA Repeal to Ensure Rights of All Married Couples

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that he is an original cosponsor of Respect for Marriage Act, a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). The bill would also ensure that all legally-married, same-sex couples are treated equally under federal law by clarifying current statues. Even following the Supreme Court's June 2013 decision that invalidated a portion of DOMA, same sex couples across the nation are still denied certain critical federal benefits. Following the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA, Casey joined 38 Senators in urging the Administration to quickly implement the ruling. Read More


  • Casey Invites Northeastern Pennsylvania Native and ABLE Act Advocate Sara Wolff to the President’s State of the Union Address As His Guest

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that Northeastern Pennsylvania native and ABLE Act advocate Sara Wolff will be his guest to the President's State of the Union Address on Tuesday January 20th. Wolff was one of the nation’s leading advocates for passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that became law at the end of 2014. ABLE has been called the 'broadest legislation to help those with disabilities in nearly quarter century,’ and would allow families who have a child with a disability to set up 529-style, tax advantaged savings accounts to pay for their long-term care. Read More


  • Casey Ends 2014 with Major Accomplishments on Behalf of Pennsylvanians

    Amid partisan gridlock, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) ended 2014 with significant accomplishments on behalf of Pennsylvanians. Casey secured passage of a landmark law to help the families of children with disabilities save for their long term care through tax-advantaged, 529-style savings accounts. Casey successfully pushed into law measures that bolstered children's hospitals throughout the state, improved the emergency medical services that are provided to children and strengthened programs to support individuals living with traumatic brain injuries. Casey successfully urged the Obama Administration to invest in job creating projects throughout Pennsylvania. Casey pressed for the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan, for justice for coal miners being denied black lung claims and for improvements to the ways colleges are required to report instances of sexual violence on campus. Read More


  • Casey’s ABLE Act Becomes Law with President Obama’s Signature

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that his Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act was signed into law this afternoon by President Obama. The bill will allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. The ABLE Act passed the Senate on Tuesday with a final vote of 76-16, and it passed the House last week with a final vote of 404-17. This legislation has been called "…the broadest legislation to help [people with disabilities] in nearly a quarter-century." Read More


  • Congress must act to ensure safety of children

    Philadelphia, PA - Two years ago this week, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 children and six adults were killed in one of the deadliest school shootings in our nation's history. I will never forget the horror of how those children died - shot at close range with a high-powered rifle, with each child hit as many as 11 times, as a shooter fired more than 150 rounds of ammunition within five minutes. The tragedy was magnified by the realization of what could have happened if the killer had more time - given the time and capacity, he would have killed hundreds of children. Read More


  • Congress Agrees to Widen Federal Help for Disabled

    Congress gave final approval Tuesday to the most sweeping legislation to help the disabled in a quarter century, allowing Americans with disabilities to open tax-free bank accounts to pay for needs such as education, housing and health care. Read More


  • Casey-Burr ABLE Act Passes Senate, Heads to the President’s Desk to Become Law

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that the Senate has passed their Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The bill will allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. The ABLE Act passed the House last week with a final vote of 404-17. This legislation has been called "…the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century." Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Passage of ABLE Act Next Week So Families Who Have a Child with a Disability Can Better Pay for Their Long Term Care

    Philadelphia, PA - Following a bipartisan vote in the House of Representatives, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on the Senate to take up and pass the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act that will allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. Casey was joined by Philly-area advocates and one of the nation's leading advocates for the ABLE Act – Scranton native Sara Wolff. Casey has led the Senate effort on the bill that now has 77 Senate cosponsors and stands on the brink of passage. The bill, which has been called "the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century," could be taken up by the Senate in the coming days. Read More


  • The Woes of Working Women

    The bill would require employers to make "reasonable accommodations" for workers who become pregnant. You may be stunned to hear that this does not always happen now in the American workplace. Consider Heather Myers, a floor worker in the infant department at a Walmart in Kansas whose obstetrician told her to drink liquids. She was then fired for bringing a water bottle to work. Read More


  • Casey and Burr’s ABLE Act Passes House

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) released statements following the House's bipartisan vote in favor of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The bill will allow families who have a child with a disability to save for their long-term care through 529-style savings accounts. Read More


  • Senators Casey, Shaheen Urge Supreme Court to Protect Expecting Mothers

    This morning, as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in Peggy Young v. UPS, a pregnancy discrimination case, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) called on the Court to protect working pregnant women across the United States. The case could determine whether and when the Pregnancy Discrimination Act requires an employer to make reasonable accommodations for a pregnant worker out of a medical need. Read More


  • Congress finds cause to agree on: Disability assistance

    WASHINGTON - Congress is set to approve the first major piece of legislation affecting Americans with disabilities in nearly 25 years with sweeping, bipartisan support. "It's a good opportunity to show how we can work together," said Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., the lead House sponsor of the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act. Read More


  • Casey Calls for Inclusion of Legislation that Would Boost Food Banks in Upcoming End of Year Tax Bill

    Ahead of Thanksgiving and with nearly two million Pennsylvania residents food insecure, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called for inclusion of legislation that would boost food banks in an upcoming end of year tax extenders bill. Casey discussed the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act that would expand and make permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks. Read More


  • Casey-Backed Bill that Helps Nearly 55,000 Pennsylvania Families Afford Child Care Every Month for Over 93,000 Children Passes Senate and Heads to President’s Desk for Signature

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced the passage of a bipartisan measure that helps nearly 55,000 Pennsylvania families afford child care each month. The historically bipartisan legislation, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), helps parents work and drive the economy while affording child care. Senator Casey included provisions in the bill that increase investments in early education. The measure passed the Senate 88-1. Read More


  • Casey, Advocates, Impacted Family Push for Passage of Bill that Helps Thousands of Central PA Families Pay for Childcare Each Month

    Harrisburg PA- With an end of the year deadline approaching, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), advocates for children and a local family pushed to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG) that helps thousands of Central Pennsylvania families pay for childcare each month. The program currently helps 55,000 Pennsylvania families each month pay for childcare for 93,000 children. If the bill fails to pass by the end of the year important reforms contained in the bill that helps families pay for childcare will have to start over in a new Congress. Read More


  • Department of Education Issues Final Regulations for Casey Law to Combat Campus Sexual Assault

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Department of Education has issued final regulations to implement his Campus SaVE law which seeks to combat sexual assaults on college campuses. The measure passed in 2012 as part of the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization. The new regulations require uniform reporting standards of sexual violence on college campuses and provide new accountability measures to schools. Read More


  • Casey, Mayor Bracey, York Advocates Push for Passage of Legislation that Would Combat Discrimination Against Pregnant Workers

    York, PA- As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a landmark pregnancy discrimination case, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by Mayor Kim Bracey and York advocates, pushed for passage of legislation that would address discrimination against pregnant workers. Casey's bill, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, would bolster protections for pregnant workers by allowing them to seek reasonable accommodations so they can continue working during pregnancy. Casey was joined by Edquina Washington from York’s YWCA, who discussed the challenges the region’s pregnant workers face. Recently Casey led over 120 members of Congress in filing an amicus curae brief in the Supreme Court case of Young v. UPS, in which Peggy Young is seeking justice for discrimination that is alleged to have occurred while she worked during her pregnancy. Read More


  • Senator, Local Doctor Detail What Emergency Medical Services for Children Legislation Means for Philly Children

    Senator Bob Casey's (D-PA) bill, the Emergency Medical Services for Children Reauthorization Act of 2014, heads to the President’s desk for signature, Casey and a local doctor detailed the impact the soon-to-be signed legislation could have on children in Philadelphia and throughout the country. Casey highlighted how the program has benefited Philadelphia children to date, by developing guidelines for CT scans for children following head injuries and screening for childhood depression, among other important advancements. When signed, the legislation will protect this program through 2019. Read More


  • Casey Introduces Legislation to Reform Juvenile Justice System, Eliminate Loophole That Leads to Incarceration of Youth for Status Offenses Like Truancy

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation, the Prohibiting Detention of Youth Status Offenders Act of 2014, to reform the juvenile justice system and eliminate a loophole that leads to the detention of youth for so-called 'status offenses.' Following a forum on the juvenile justice system hosted by Senator Casey he unveiled legislation to limit rule that permit states to place youth status offenders in detention facilities. Earlier this year, Casey held a viewing of the Kids for Cash documentary where he revealed his plans to introduce a reform bill. As bipartisan consensus for legislation to reform the juvenile justice system emerges Casey’s bill would seek to take a significant step toward closing the so-called ‘school to prison pipeline.’ Read More


  • Casey Introduces Caregiver Corps Plan to Aid Aging Residents in PA and Their Families Who Care for Them

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced legislation that would create a national Caregiver Corps plan to aid families in Pennsylvania who provide care to aging or disabled relatives. As middle class Americans are increasingly sandwiched between the need to provide care for aging relatives, raise children and secure their own retirement, the Casey legislation would allow family caregivers a respite. The bill would connect the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with local volunteers to fill in the gaps in the current system so that volunteers can be better connected with families in need of assistance. HHS would provide the structure and guidelines needed to bolster locally driven efforts that connect families with willing volunteers. Read More


  • Casey, Hatch Legislation Reauthorizing Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Set to Become Law After Final Passage in House

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that their bill to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program is set to become law after it passed the House. The legislation passed the Senate on September 10th, and has made great strides to make sure that the entire spectrum of emergency medical services (EMS) can be provided to children and adolescents no matter where they live, attend school, or travel. The program is in its 30th year and is the only Federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children. Read More


  • Casey, Hatch Legislation Reauthorizing Emergency Medical Services for Children Program Passes Senate

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) announced that their bill to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program has passed the Senate. The legislation has made great strides to make sure that the entire spectrum of emergency medical services (EMS) can be provided to children and adolescents no matter where they live, attend school, or travel. The program is in its 30th year and is the only Federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children. Read More


  • Lawmakers to high court: Protect pregnant workers

    More than 120 members of Congress urged the Supreme Court on Thursday to recognize that pregnant workers are entitled to reasonable accommodations such as light duty, saying it's needed to ensure that expecting mothers are not forced out of their jobs. Read More


  • Casey, Emergency Doctor, Nurse and Advocate Push for Plan That Could Put More Nurses in Schools in Philly and Across the Country

    Philadelphia, PA- U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by a local emergency room doctor and nurse, and an advocate for nurses in schools and author of a key study on nursing shortages in Philadelphia schools pushed for passage of a plan that could lead to more nurses schools in Philadelphia and across the country. Casey pushed for passage of a plan that could help schools pay for nurses to aid children during health emergencies. The Casey-backed plan, the NURSE Act, would create a new grant program that schools in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania could apply for. Read More


  • Casey Unveils National Caregiver Corps Plan to Aid Aging Residents in Southwestern PA and Their Families Who Provide Care

    Johnstown, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined by Johnstown area residents and medical professionals in the region unveiled a national Caregiver Corps plan to aid aging residents in Southwestern Pennsylvania and their families who provide care. As middle class Americans are increasingly sandwiched between the need to provide care for aging relatives, raise children and secure their own retirement, the Casey legislation would allow family caregivers a respite. The bill would connect the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with local volunteers to fill in the gaps in the current system so that volunteers can be better connected with families in need of a caregiver. HHS would provide the structure and guidelines needed to bolster locally driven efforts that connect families with willing volunteers Read More


  • Casey, Gillibrand Lead Bipartisan Group of Senators Urging USDA to Prioritize Emergency Food Assistance

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) along with a bipartisan group of 26 other senators sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to make emergency purchases during this fiscal year to assist The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). TEFAP provides funding for food banks to purchase nutritious foods and to help transport and deliver that food to Americans in need. Federal support for TEFAP is estimated to drop off by over $100 million this fiscal year, if USDA does not make emergency purchases. Read More


  • ABLE Act Takes Major Step Forward After Bipartisan Vote of House Ways and Means Committee

    Following a bipartisan vote in the House Ways and Means Committee that moved the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) forward, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Burr (R-NC) and Representatives Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released a statement praising the Committee's work and pushing for quick action to pass the ABLE Act in September. Read More


  • Casey Hears Regional Testimony from South Central PA Residents on Challenges Confronting “Sandwich Generation”

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) heard testimony from South Central PA residents about the challenges of the region's so-called "sandwich generation" who are caring for older parents, raising children and preparing for retirement,. Residents from Central Pennsylvania described the increasing challenges for these families. Experts from the region detailed the difficulties that more and more families face as they care for aging parents, try to make a decent wage in today’s economy and trying to squeeze every penny to ensure a secure retirement. Read More


  • Casey Chairs Hearing to Push for Passage of His Bill- the ABLE Act, Bipartisan Legislation to Help Individuals with Disabilities and their Families Save for Long Term Care

    Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) chaired a hearing of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Taxation and IRS Oversight to push for passage of the bipartisan Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE) Act. The hearing featured Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a member of the House GOP Leadership, and Sara Wolff, a Northeastern Pennsylvania native, who is a leading voice for those with disabilities and the ABLE Act. The hearing comes as momentum builds for a September passage. The bill now has the support of 75 Senators including Majority Leader Reid and Minority Leader McConnell. In the House, the ABLE Act has over 360 cosponsors. The legislation allows individuals with disabilities and their families to save for their long term care through 529-style, tax-advantaged savings accounts. Read More


  • Following GM Ignition Switch Failures, Casey, Blumenthal, Harkin Introduce Legislation to Hold Companies Accountable For Concealing Defects

    Today, U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Hide No Harm Act of 2014, a bill that would make it a crime for a corporate officer to knowingly conceal the fact that a corporate action or product poses a danger of death or serious physical injury. The bill, which would create punishments of fines and up to five years in prison, would also create a safe harbor from criminal liability in cases where a corporate officer notifies a federal regulatory agency and individuals subject to the danger. Read More


  • Casey Alerts PA Residents to More Than 2,000 Sites That Ensure Children Don't Go Hungry in Summer Months

    With schools closed for the summer, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, highlighted resources available to more than 777,000 children who receive critical nutrition assistance during the school year. Casey discussed the resources available through the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federal nutrition program jointly run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Pennsylvania Department of Education, and local sponsors. There are more than 2,000 sites across Pennsylvania. Read More


  • Casey Hearing Examines Challenges that Region’s “Sandwich Generation” Faces: Caring for Older Parents, Raising Children and Preparing for Retirement

    Pittsburgh, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) chaired a hearing of the U.S. Senate Aging Committee that examined the challenges of the region's so-called "sandwich generation" who are caring for older parents, raising children and preparing for retirement. Residents from Southwestern Pennsylvania described the increasing challenges that these new realities are placing on their families. Experts from throughout the region detailed the difficulties that more and more families face as they care for aging parents, try to make a decent wage in today’s economy and trying to squeeze every penny to ensure a secure retirement. Read More


  • President Obama Endorses Casey Bill to Protect Pregnant Women from Discrimination in the Workplace

    At today's White House Summit on Working Families, President Obama endorsed U.S. Senator Bob Casey’s (D-PA) Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA). The bill, which was first introduced in 2012, would protect pregnant women from discrimination in the workplace. Specifically the bill would require employers to make reasonable accommodations, like using a stool while working at a cash register or carrying a bottle of water, for pregnant women. The legislation also protects women from retribution when asking for these reasonable accommodations. Read More


  • Casey Law to Combat Sexual Violence on College Campuses Moves Closer to Implementation as Draft Regulations Are Issued

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the Department of Education has issued draft regulations that would fully implement his Campus SaVE Act which became law in 2013 as part of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA). The law would create the first ever uniform reporting standards for sexual assault on college campuses throughout the country. Today's issuing of draft regulations is a critical step towards full implementation of Campus SaVE. Read More


  • Casey Calls for CHIP Extension Through 2019

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for an extension of the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) through fiscal year 2019. Casey highlighted county by county data showing the impact that CHIP has had on Pennsylvania. The program, which was created in 1997, currently covers around 271,000 kids each year throughout Pennsylvania. The Casey-backed proposal would also improve the program by giving states the option to extend more comprehensive coverage to pregnant women and offer improved dental services and oral care. Passing an extension this year is critical to helping states plan their budgets next year. Read More


  • Casey, 16 Other Senators Urge Largest Tobacco Companies to Prohibit Child Labor in the Supply Chain

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, sent a letter with 16 other senators to the ten largest tobacco companies urging them to prohibit child labor in their supply chain. The letter comes on the heels of a new report by Human Rights Watch which found that nearly three-quarters of the child tobacco workers in the four largest tobacco-producing states had experienced the sudden onset of serious symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, headaches, dizziness, difficulty breathing, skin rashes, and irritation to their eyes and mouths; while working on tobacco fields and in curing barns.  Many of these symptoms are consistent with acute nicotine poisoning. Read More


  • Bring Back Our Girls

    One month ago, Boko Haram abducted more than 200 girls in the middle of the night from their boarding school in northern Nigeria. This terrorist group committed this unconscionable crime against innocent young girls who are the future of their community and of their country. I am deeply concerned about this kidnapping and my thoughts and prayers are with the families of the abducted children. … 

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  • Casey Introduces Bill That Would Set Standards for Direct Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse to State Authorities

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) introduced a bill that would require states to implement a consistent standard for child abuse reporting by requiring those with responsibility over children, such as medical professionals, teachers and coaches, to report suspected child abuse and neglect directly to state authorities. Casey's bill, the Speak Up to Protect Every Abused Kid Act (Speak Up Act), was first introduced in the wake of the Sandusky scandal. Casey unveiled a new version of the legislation and highlighted county by county data showing instances of child abuse across the state. The legislation would tie states’ child abuse prevention funding to the adoption of new standards to better protect abuse victims, and require individuals to report directly to the appropriate state authorities. Read More


  • Casey Urges Kerry to Support Additional Shelters for Vulnerable Women in Afghanistan

    As reports indicate that violence against women in Afghanistan is increasing, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the National Security Working Group and a Co-Chair of the Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism Caucus, sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the State Department to dedicate its resources to establish additional domestic violence shelters in Afghanistan. Currently, the State Department is only funding six shelters, leaving many abused women without safe haven. The shelters provide safety and vocation training to help victims of domestic violence restart their lives. As some members of the Afghan parliament continue to favor reducing protections for women there are still not enough women in the Afghan police to staff Family Response Units that also serve women who are victims of domestic violence. Read More


  • Casey Calls for Workplace Protections for Pregnant Workers

    Ahead of Mother's Day, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for passage of the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would require employers to offer reasonable accommodations for pregnant workers and prevent employers from forcing women out on leave when a reasonable accommodation would allow them to continue working. The bill also bars employers from denying employment opportunities to women based on their need for reasonable accommodations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Read More


  • Casey Highlights New County by County Data Show Benefits of Minimum Wage Increase for PA

    With a bill currently on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) highlighted new county by county data showing the benefits of a minimum wage increase in Pennsylvania. By raising the minimum wage to $10.10, the Minimum Wage Fairness Act would strengthen the economy and help to make sure that hard work is rewarded. New county by county data shows that raising the minimum wage will aid the economy and help lift families across the state make a decent wage. Read More


  • In a Letter to Senate Appropriators, Casey and Senate Colleagues Urge Increased Funding for Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Programs

    In a letter to Senate Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL), U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) - joined by U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Richard Blumenthnal (D-CT) – today urged the committee to honor President Obama's request for $11 million to fund the Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Grant Program as the committee prepares FY2015 spending bills. Read More


  • Casey, Families Push for Quick Vote On Bill to Allow Those with Disabilities Tax Advantaged Savings Accounts for Care

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by families and advocates from South Central Pennsylvania, pushed for a quick vote on the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act - S. 313/H.R. 647), which would allow tax advantaged savings accounts for care of those with disabilities. Casey's legislation, the ABLE Act, could receive a vote in both chambers as soon as May and already has the support of 70 Senators and 359 members of the House of Representatives. Casey was joined by members of the community who have disabilities and would benefit from this bill, as well as Maureen Cronin, Executive Director of The Arc of Pennsylvania and Maureen Westcott, Executive Director for The Arc of Lancaster County. Read More


  • Casey, Patients, Families and Doctors Push for Boost to Program That Would Add Dollars for Lifesaving Medical Care at CHOP

    Philadelphia, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) joined by patients, families and doctors from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) pushed for Congress to boost funding for a program that could add dollars to CHOP. A recently passed Casey bill, The Children’s Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013, paves the way for more funding to the program yet the Administration is still eying the program for cuts in its 2015 budget. Casey released a letter to key members of Congress calling on them to provide additional funding to the program, which puts medical residents in Children’s hospitals and added $32 million to children’s hospitals in Pennsylvania during 2013. Patients discussed the benefits of this lifesaving medical investment and CHOP’s doctors discussed what this additional funding could add to the hospital’s pediatric care. Read More


  • Casey, Isakson Bill to Protect Funding for Children’s Hospitals Clears Final Passage

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA) announced that their bipartisan legislation, The Children's Hospital GME Support Reauthorization Act of 2013, has cleared final passage in the House and will now head to the President’s desk. The bill reauthorizes the Children’s Hospitals Graduate Medical Education (CHGME) program investing $300 million annually in children’s hospitals over the next five years. Read More


  • Casey Statement on New CDC Autism Statistics

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Finance Committee, released the following statement on new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating that 1 in 68 children (1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls) has an autism spectrum disorder. Read More


  • Casey Urges DOJ to Examine Whether Americans With Disabilities Act Needs Update to Provide Training, Better Protect Vulnerable Children and Their Families

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) urged the U.S. Forest Service to conduct a study to determine whether a successful strategy in place in the southern U.S. to combat an invasive species, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA), could be used in the northern U.S. as well. If effective this strategy could help the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) which is battling the HWA. The HWA is rapidly destroying hemlock trees which are a major part of the ANF's ecosystem. The ANF is a key source of Pennsylvania’s timber industry which accounted for $7.2 million in sales in 2012 that have been as high as $25.6 million in the last decade. The new strategy, in place in West Virginia, has deployed a beetle to biologically control the HWA. Read More


  • Casey, Hatch Introduce Reauthorization of Emergency Medical Services for Children Program

    Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) introduced a bill to reauthorize the Emergency Medical Services for Children (EMSC) program, which has made great strides to make sure that the entire spectrum of emergency medical services (EMS) can be provided to children and adolescents no matter where they live, attend school, or travel. The program is in its 30th year and is the only Federal program dedicated to improving emergency medical care for children. Read More


  • Casey, Burr: Leaders Reid and McConnell Sign On As Cosponsors of ABLE Act

    U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC) announced that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have cosponsored their bill, the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act - S. 313/H.R. 647). This legislation would provide an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-advantaged savings accounts. The legislation now has the support of 68 Senators and 345 members of the House making it one of the most widely supported bills in all of Congress. Having leaders Reid and McConnell back this bill adds to the growing momentum to pass the legislation this year. Read More


  • Casey Presses Administration for Action on International Child Abduction in Japan

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) urged the Administration to make progress on international child abduction cases in Japan. In a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Japan, Caroline Kennedy, Senator Casey urged the Administration to make international child abduction a priority in its talks with the Japanese government. Japan only recently ratified a 25 year old international treaty on child abduction and sometimes its court system can create challenges for families seeking information on missing children. Read More


  • Casey Calls for an End to Workplace Discrimination

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chair of the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety, along with 12 other Senators, introduced the Fair Employment Protection Act, which would provide American workers the chance to thrive in a workplace free of harassment. This legislation addresses the U.S. Supreme Court's June 2013 decision in Vance v. Ball State University, which significantly weakened the ability of workplace harassment victims to seek legal recourse. The bill also restores workplace protections weakened by the Vance decision to ensure that Americans harassed on the job by supervisors and those with authority to direct people’s day-to-day work are treated fairly and receive the justice they deserve. Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Passage of Bipartisan Bill that Helps Nearly 60,000 Pennsylvania Families Afford Child Care Every Month for Over 95,000 Children

    With a bill on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) today called for passage of a bipartisan measure that helps nearly 60,000 Pennsylvania families afford child care each month. The historically bipartisan legislation, the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG), helps parents work and drive the economy while affording child care. Senator Casey has included provisions in the bill that will strengthen standards and inspections on child care providers and make it easier for children to qualify for one continuous year of child care. Read More


  • Casey Calls on Administration to Delay SNAP Cuts

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), joined by 16 Senators and 81 Congressmen, announced that he has sent a letter to the Administration urging the delay of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) cuts until the fall. The farm bill instituted another $8.6 billion in cuts on top of cuts that took place on November 1st. A delay will give the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) time to put out guidance for states and allow states to update their heating assistance plans which can be impacted by SNAP cuts. In the letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, the Members urge a delay in the cuts that will harm economic growth and impact vulnerable children and seniors during this challenging winter. Read More


  • Casey, Toomey Introduce Resolution to Recognize The Pennsylvania State University’s THON for Another Record-Breaking Event

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduced a resolution to congratulate the Pennsylvania State University's IFC/Panhellenic Dance Marathon on its continued success in support of the Four Diamonds Fund at Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. The Dance Marathon, commonly referred to as THON, raised more than $13.3 million this year, shattering the previous fund-raising record by almost $1 million. Read More


  • Casey Statement on Farm Bill Vote

    I have fought for years to enact a comprehensive Farm bill and I certainly support the goal of a comprehensive Farm bill to provide long-term certainty for our farmers. I commend Chairwoman Stabenow for her tireless work to get this bill across the goal line.  She managed the very difficult task of negotiating a bill that advanced without some of the most egregious and draconian proposals and for that reason I believe the bill deserved a vote. Read More


  • Casey’s Bill to Help Parents Protect Children from Abusing Cough Syrup Gains Support House of Representatives

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that his bipartisan legislation to help parents protect their children from abusing dextromethorphan (DXM) has gained support in the House. This week, U.S. Representatives Bill Johnson (R-Ohio) and Bruce Braley (D-Iowa) introduced the Preventing Abuse of Cough Treatments (PACT) Act, which is a companion to the bill previously introduced by Senator Casey and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). Read More


  • Casey Urges Congress to Move Forward with Legislation to Address Sex Trafficking, Promotes Resources for Citizens

    Ahead of the Super Bowl, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Congress to take action on human trafficking legislation this year. Major sporting events like the Super Bowl are often used by traffickers to prey on vulnerable women and children. Today, Senator Casey will promote resources to help Americans report potential sex trafficking through social media. Senator Casey, a member of the Senate Finance Committee, is a cosponsor of legislation, S. 1878, that would improve data collection on child sex trafficking crimes and aid victims of these terrible actions with transition housing. Last year Senator Casey participated in a hearing on the issue. Read More


  • Casey Announces Local State of the Union Guest, Previews President’s Speech

    Philadelphia, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) previewed the President's State of the Union Address. Casey called for a renewed focus on jobs and the economy, working families, and early childhood education. Casey was joined by his guest to the State of the Union, Tianna Gaines-Turner, a local Philadelphia woman who spoke to the challenges working families face. Read More


  • Casey Announces Budget Agreement Will Include $1B Increase for Head Start Program

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) announced that the congressional budget agreement, which is set for a vote this week, will increase funding for Head Start by $1 billion. Senator Casey has joined teachers and parents from across the state to urge Congress to dedicate more resources to Head Start. Previous cuts due to the sequester kept vulnerable children from accessing this critical early learning program. Read More


  • Casey Pushes for Legislation that Would Boost Food Banks in Northeastern PA, Across State

    As Pennsylvanians struggle with hunger around the holidays, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) pushed for passage of legislation, the Good Samaritan Hunger Relief Tax Incentive Act (S.1395), which would boost food banks in Northeastern Pennsylvania and across the state. Casey's bipartisan legislation would expand and make permanent tax incentives for businesses that donate to food banks. Senator Casey was joined by hunger advocates and businesses to make the case for action on policies that aid families and children struggling with hunger. Read More


  • Support for ABLE Act Continues to Grow

    Today, support continued to grow for the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act - S. 313/H.R. 647), introduced by U.S. Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Richard Burr (R-NC), bringing the total number of co-sponsors in the Senate to 60 members. Introduced in the 113th Congress in February, this bill would provide an improved quality of life for individuals with disabilities through tax-free savings accounts. Read More


  • Casey Calls for Passage of New Plan to Provide Background Checks for Childcare Workers

    Philadelphia PA- After a spate of incidents in Southeastern Pennsylvania underscoring the importance of quality childcare, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called for passage of a new plan that would provide federal standards for background checks on childcare workers. In a letter to Senate leaders, Senator Casey urged Congress to reauthorize the Child Care and Development Block Grant (CCDBG). Read More


  • Casey Calls on Congress to Increase Emergency Assistance to Food Banks That Are Struggling to Keep Up with Demand

    With Thanksgiving approaching, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) called on Congress to increase emergency assistance to food banks that are already struggling to keep up with demand. Currently, Congress has entered a critical stage in farm bill negotiations that will feature significant decisions on food security programs such as the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read More


  • Casey Joins Senate Leaders to Advance Universal Pre-K Bill

    Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) unveiled the Senate's new comprehensive approach to universal Pre-K. Senator Casey first introduced universal Pre-K in 2007. In his last State of the Union Address, President Obama endorsed universal Pre-K and called on Congress to take action. Now Senate leaders on education have come together on a comprehensive approach that would help Pennsylvania children access early learning. Read More


  • Ahead Of First Public Meeting of Farm Bill Negotiators, Casey Urge Congress To Reject Cuts To Food Stamps For Millions Of Children And Seniors

    Ahead of the first public meeting of the Senate and House 2013 Farm Bill conference committee members on Wednesday, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, today along with 37 of his Senate colleagues urged the negotiators to fight against harmful cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Read More


  • Casey: House’s New Extreme SNAP Cuts Will Hurt PA Children, Families, Seniors and Economy

    Senator Casey denounced a vote by the House of Representatives which cut an additional $40 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The House's extreme plan built upon already unprecedented cuts to the SNAP program even though economic data shows $1 in SNAP spending generates $1.70 in economic activity. Casey vowed to fight against the House’s new plan and detailed the impact that this new round of cuts will have on vulnerable Pennsylvania children, families and seniors. Read More


  • Casey Calls for National Minimum Wage Increase

    Reading, PA- Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Employment and Workplace Safety in the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, called on Congress to raise the national minimum wage by passing the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013. During a press conference at City Hall in Reading, Casey detailed how increasing the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation will offer a lift up the ladder to the middle class and boost the economy by stimulating new spending. Read More


  • Casey: Children in Northeastern Pennsylvania Are Being Kept from Vital Head Start Program Due to Sequestration

    Wilkes-Barre, PA- On the eve of President Obama's visit to Northeastern Pennsylvania, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was joined by families from across the region to call on Congress to reverse the sequester cuts that are keeping thousands of vulnerable Pennsylvania children from attending Head Start programs. With the fate of the sequester’s 2014 impacts set to be decided in September, Casey unveiled a letter to Congressional leadership highlighting the devastating impact in Pennsylvania and across the country. Read More


  • Casey Urges President Obama to Host Little League 75th Anniversary Celebration Next Summer at White House

    As Little League World Series action continues in Williamsport, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), today, urged President Obama to host a 75th anniversary celebration of Little League International next summer. When Little League International celebrated its 50th anniversary President George H.W. Bush hosted a White House event marking the anniversary. In his letter to the President, Senator Casey cited the positive impact that Little League has on youth across the country and the positive role that the annual tournament plays in North Central Pennsylvania's economy. Read More


  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month

    October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time for all of us to recognize the terrible impact of domestic violence on families across the Nation. One in four women and one in seven men will be the victim of violence, and this is a horrific tragedy.  We must all work together to prevent domestic and sexual violence and support the victims of violence so they can rebuild their lives.  To get immediate help and support, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or TTY 1-800-787-3224. … 

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  • Peace of Mind for Parents of Children with Disabilities

    Each year, Dan and Jenn are able to save for Carina's college education by putting away money tax-free in a 529 education savings account. But the tax code restricts them from saving tax-free for Carina's younger brother Sean, who was born with Down Syndrome. Dan and Jenn work hard every day to provide everything they possibly can for their children but they were distressed when they realized saving for Sean's long-term health care, housing and educational needs was nearly impossible under current law. They found it ironic that the child in their family that might need the most financial assistance during his lifetime was the one they could not save for. Dan and Jenn thought that was wrong and so do we. That's why we have introduced legislation to help Dan and Jenn, and millions of other parents with disabled children, access the same financial tools that children without a disability have. Families currently can save for their children's education through tax-advantaged 529 education savings accounts. Our Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act would expand the use of 529 accounts to help cover disability related expenses, enabling parents of children with disabilities as well as older individuals with disabilities to put aside money to help cover anticipated long-term costs. Here's how it works. The ABLE Act creates a new type of 529 savings plan that would allow individuals with disabilities and their families to save money to be used for education, medical and dental care, job training, housing, transportation and other expenses. Contributions to the account would grow tax-free and withdrawals for disability expenses would also be tax-free. Our starting point is simple: Individuals with disabilities and their parents who care for them should have access to the same kinds of savings tools as the broader population. The federal government encourages Americans to save for their retirements through 401(k) plans and for education through education savings accounts or 529 plans. These tax-deferred saving plans are now such a fundamental part of how families prepare for the future we barely think of them as public policy. But of course they are. Our legislation applies this successful model to help people with disabilities and their families save for costs they will likely encounter down the road. In the past two decades, people with disabilities have made significant progress. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed into law by President Bush more than twenty years ago, opened new doors and solidified a change in attitude in this country. Barriers to employment have been knocked over. Buildings are more accessible. Equal opportunity in our schools is no longer a dream for children with disabilities. However, adults with disabilities continue to confront significant economic challenges, facing unemployment and poverty rates far higher than the overall population. In 2010, the poverty rate for people with a disability was more than double that of those with no disability and workers with a disability experienced an unemployment rate more than 5 percentage points higher than those without one. Parents of children with disabilities also face significant financial challenges. The average cost of raising a child with a significant medical disability is more than $1 million over the course of the child's lifetime. The tax-free saving accounts authorized by the ABLE Act would help families plan for and meet future needs. Creating an ABLE account is as easy as opening an account at your local bank. Because it builds on the 529 college savings program people already know about and use, it would be simple to get started. ABLE accounts could be managed online. And anyone would be able to contribute. The money saved in the ABLE account would supplement rather than replace benefits from core government programs, such as Medicaid. These additional funds would support individuals as they encounter a range of expenses related to their disability -- expenses such as tutoring, home and vehicle modification, and job training. Nearly one in five Americans has a disability. Many are children who have long, productive lives ahead of them. Under current law, these young people cannot save more than $2,000 in assets without losing health care and other federal benefits. The ABLE Act would change that, ensuring that a person with a disability or his parents would be able to save for the future without jeopardizing the benefits they count on. With a small change to the 529 savings program, we can make a big improvement in the lives of millions of Americans living with a disability. And Dan and Jenn, and millions of parents like them, will finally be able to save for the futures of all of their children. Read More



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