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House Approves Putting Children First Resolution

On November 15, the House approved, 418-0, a resolution (H. Con. Res. 228) expressing Congressional support to promptly address the needs of children who lost one or both parents in the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Somerset County, Pennsylvania, tragedies.

Sponsored by Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX), the resolution urges federal, state, and local agencies to give the highest priority to providing services and benefits that would contribute to the well-being of these children. These services include foster care, adoption assistance, medical, nutritional, and psychological care, and educational aid.

Additionally, the measure recognizes the importance of providing such assistance in a timely fashion, within 60 days of the determination of the death of a parent or guardian.

Speaking in support of the resolution, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) said, “It has been 2 months since the evil terrorist attack upon America and still many surviving family members, particularly children of the September 11 attack, have yet to receive the benefits they need and they deserve.” She added, “Although money cannot mend their scars, the passage of this resolution can provide the necessary bandages to help heal their deep wounds.”

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-OH) also encouraged her colleagues “to support this resolution, to provide the educational services that are necessary for these young people to be able to continue their lives and be useful citizens in our country,” and to provide “the assistance for adoption and foster care.” She said, “It is our obligation as Members of Congress to step up to the plate and support those young people.”

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