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Ranking Member Cole Remarks on H.R. 8876, H.R. 3372 and H.R. 6878

As delivered during today’s hearing:

We’re here today on three bills. The first I’ll discuss, H.R. 8876, is the Jackie Walorski Maternal and Child Home Visiting Reauthorization Act of 2022. Broadly, this bill, which has overwhelming bipartisan support, reauthorizes and provides funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program through 2027. I can think of no better tribute to Representative Walorski, our dear friend who departed us far too soon, and while I wish she were here with us today, this bill is a reminder to us all that she will live on in our memory.

Our other two bills arise out of the Judiciary Committee. Both of these measures have Republican support, and indeed I note that Mr. Reschenthaler is the Republican lead on both of these bills. 

The first of these bills I’ll discuss, H.R. 3372, the One Stop Shop Community Reentry Program Act, would establish a grant program to provide support for nonprofit organizations providing community reentry services to formerly incarcerated individuals. The second bill, H.R. 6878, the Pregnant Women in Custody Act, would provide additional resources to attend to the health concerns of pregnant women who are incarcerated or otherwise in government custody.

I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today and hearing their perspectives as we consider these measures. 

Before I conclude, Mr. Chairman, I will note I am more than a little concerned that we are not meeting on other critical items today. Before the end of this Congress, we still need to pass a final bipartisan and bicameral agreement on the annual National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which we have done each year for the past 61 years. We need to reach a final agreement on full-year appropriations bills for fiscal year 2023 lest we fall into a year-long continuing resolution, which would be a bad outcome for everyone involved. 

With these and other pressing issues, it is disappointing that the Rules Committee is not yet meeting on these items today. The clock is ticking, and the longer we dawdle on these important matters, the harder it becomes to finish all of the business facing the 117th Congress before time runs out.

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