By Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-5th)
(Jan. 16, 2009)—This week, the House passed legislation to ensure access to health care for our nations neediest children. Receiving significant bipartisan support, the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) would provide coverage for an additional 4 million low-income children, for a total of 11 million, who are eligible for the program but not yet enrolled. President-elect Obamas record shows a dedication to our nations children, and we expect him to sign the SCHIP legislation into law shortly after being sworn in.
Yesterday, House Leaders introduced the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill to create jobs and strengthen our economy. Our work will continue with the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees holding markups next week so that we craft the most effective recovery package possible and have an open and transparent process. I expect to bring a final version of the House bill to the Floor the following week.
Next week, the House will complete consideration of the TARP Reform and Accountability Act, which will set strong conditions to ensure the future use of any federal funds to stabilize the financial markets and get our economy moving again is directed to areas of the economy that prompted this crisis. Following that vote, I expect the House to consider a resolution to determine the release of remaining TARP funds. Yesterdays Senate action already allows President-elect Obama to access the remaining money so that he has the tools necessary to address the continuing financial crisis. However, it is important for Members of the House to reflect their constituents wishes by having the opportunity to vote on the resolution.
Next Tuesday marks an historic day. Millions will gather to celebrate the swearing-in of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama. This is a difficult period in our historythe nation is faced with two wars, instability in the Middle East, and an extraordinary economic crisis here at home. However, having pledged to work across party lines to confront these challenges, President-elect Obama has already shown that he's an exceptional leader who will rise to the occasion and make the best of this moment in history. I look forward to working with him on the challenges facing our country.