As a mom, I know that parents have an increasingly difficult job in today’s world. The economic pressures, the time demands, and the many outside influences that affect even the youngest children – all of these make this an especially challenging time for American families.
All parents want to protect their children and make sure they have the best possible chance to grow up and succeed in life. Too many Minnesota families are struggling to make ends meet, and an ever-increasing number of people find themselves simultaneously bearing the responsibility of caring for their aging parents while also raising their own children.
Ultimately, our national well-being – our economic prosperity and our quality of life – depends on the strength of our families. We must support strong families and make sure parents have the tools they need to protect their children and do what’s best for them.
I will continue to work to make sure that our children grow up in healthy and safe environments, and that all of our families have the resources they need to deal successfully with today's challenges.
As Minnesota’s U.S. senator, I will continue to focus on these priorities:
- Promoting long-term economic growth, good jobs, and higher wages for Minnesota families. We must foster economic growth and good jobs that benefit Minnesota families by strengthening our commitment to education and training, increasing the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour, supporting our small businesses, reforming our tax policies, addressing our nation’s debt, rebuilding our nation’s infrastructure, and responsibly reducing red tape. This includes focusing on jobs, wages, affordable health care, child care, and housing. [See Jobs and the Economy]
- Ensuring working parents have the support they need to succeed in the workforce.We must make sure parents have the support they need as we work to improve the financial health of families. Addressing the workforce shortage includes helping working parents, and I will keep fighting to make sure we have programs in place - including paid leave, affordable child care, and mental health resources - that support parents who want to reenter and remain in the workplace.
- Fighting for child care and paid sick, family, and medical leave.Minnesota is a leader when it comes to supporting working families. I support providing paid sick days and paid family and medical leave at the federal level so no one has to sacrifice a paycheck for the birth of a child, to care for an elderly parent, or to get treatment for a serious health condition. In addition, we must make sure that early education options are available to all American families. I also support helping families across Minnesota and the country access affordable, quality child care—especially in rural communities. That’s why I introduced the bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act with Senator Dan Sullivan of Alaska to address the national shortage of child care providers and safe child care facilities by providing grants for states to train child care workers and build or renovate child care facilities in areas facing child care shortages.
- Expanding higher education opportunities. Minnesotans have always believed that every student should have the opportunity to pursue higher education. The cost of college has almost tripled over the past 20 years. Sixty-three percent of Minnesota college students graduate with debt—the fifth highest in the U.S.—and student loan borrowers hold an average of $31,000 in debt upon graduation. At a time when many jobs require some form of higher education, we simply cannot allow costs to be a barrier to opportunity. I am fighting for stronger federal support for higher education opportunities and making sure institutions of higher education adequately inform students about student loan obligations—because our future success as a state and a nation depends on making sure that quality education is accessible and affordable. We also must do a better job of preparing students for the jobs that will be available to them when they graduate – positions that may not require a PhD or even a four-year degree, but nonetheless demand specialized training and experience. Credentials and one- and two-year degrees offered by community and technical colleges may often be a better option for students who plan on entering the skilled workforce immediately after graduation. We must make these degrees a more central focus of our higher education system.
- Protecting children from unsafe products. Parents should be able to trust that the products they buy for their children are safe. Consumers deserve products that have been tested and meet strong health and safety standards. As a member of both the Senate Commerce Committee and the Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, I am fighting to make sure that the federal agencies charged with keeping Americans safe are vigilant in doing their job to protect all consumers from hazardous products.
- Keeping children safe from predators – both on the streets and on the internet. In a fast-changing society, parents need all the help they can get to protect their children from emerging threats to their safety, especially as children spend more time online. There are criminals who are intent on victimizing children. Federal support is thus essential for local law enforcement and the criminal justice system to make sure sex offenders and other potential predators can be identified before they are able to prey on any victims. We also need to prevent digital platforms from harvesting data on our children and promoting harmful content, and I’m working hard with my colleagues to pass new legislation to protect our kids.
- Ensuring that our children are healthy and receive proper nutrition. Our children need proper nutrition so that they can grow into healthy and active adults. Childhood obesity has become a national health issue, with an estimated one out of every three children in the U.S. between the ages of two and 19 overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. Ensuring that children have access to nutritious food is critical not only for their own well-being, but for the well-being of our nation. By promoting healthy lifestyles early, we can combat childhood obesity and improve children’s health across the country. With so many families and children at risk of food insecurity, I worked to pass legislation that included additional funding for child nutrition programs to ensure that children continue receiving meals at school. As the Senate works to pass the Farm Bill, I will continue to support policies that help us meet the nutritional needs of our most vulnerable citizens.
- Supporting families and children through adoption. Like so many Minnesotans, I share the belief that every child should have a safe home and a loving family. As county attorney and now as the Senate co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I have worked to assist families who are adopting children. Minnesota has a strong tradition of welcoming children into their homes through adoption and foster care. In fact, Minnesota holds one of the highest per-capita rates of international adoption. Adoptions should be as safe, straightforward, and affordable as possible for American families. In addition, we must ensure that adoptive families have the full support and services they may need throughout and after the adoption process.
- Assisting families in caring for seniors. More than half of older Americans are projected to need some type of long-term care, services, and support in their lives. While nursing homes and paid care providers serve our seniors in many situations, a lot of elder care comes from informal caregivers – spouses or adults taking care of their parents. As the Baby Boomer generation ages, the number of families coping with the challenges and costs of caring for elderly family members while caring for their own children or grandchildren will continue to grow.
I introduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders Act, which would establish a federal tax credit to assist with the costs of caring for an aging family member. I also introduced the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act with Senator Susan Collins from Maine, which would expand training and support services for families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias.
- Ensuring that low-income Minnesotans receive heating assistance. The importance of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) cannot be overstated – especially in states like Minnesota that experience bitterly cold temperatures and lengthy winters. I believe that no Minnesota family should have to choose between heating their home and other basic necessities. That’s why I urged the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services last year to release supplemental funds for the LIHEAP as quickly as possible and at the highest possible funding level.
As Minnesota’s U.S. senator, I’ve been fighting to support families and children:
- Promoting long-term economic growth, good jobs, and higher wages for Minnesota families. I am fighting to strengthen the middle class by creating jobs, supporting unions, providing training and education, and sustaining families and workers to help them get ahead. If we’re going to build a strong middle class, we need to make sure that Americans can work their way into it. That’s why I support increasing the federal minimum wage to at least $15 an hour. [See Jobs and the Economy]
- Fighting for child care and paid sick, family, and medical leave.
Ensuring workers have access to child care. Too often, people are faced with a situation where there simply is no child care option available. In fact, over half of Americans live in a child care desert. I cosponsored the Child Care for Working Families Act, which would expand access to high-quality preschool and child care, improve training and resources for early childhood teachers and caregivers, and prioritize the challenges experienced by parents who work non-traditional hours, children with disabilities, and rural areas. I also introduced the bipartisan Child Care Workforce and Facilities Act to address shortages of affordable, quality child care options in our state by supporting programs to expand the child care workforce. The legislation would also support building, renovating, and expanding child care facilities to ensure children have safe and healthy environments to learn and play in.
I fought for Minnesota to receive the Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge grant, which provided $45 million to improve the quality of early learning and development programs serving high-need children across our state. I also supported the Strong Start for America’s Children Act, which expands and improves early learning opportunities for children from birth to age five, and the Head Start for School Readiness Act, which was signed into law in 2007 to ensure that children are prepared when they enter school. In addition, in December 2022, we increased funding for Head Start and the Child Care and Development Block Grant programs.
Extending paid sick, family, and medical leave. Minnesota is a leader in providing paid sick leave, paid medical leave, and other policies that support working families. I am working to pass these bills on the national level. I was proud to support the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act which went into effect in June 2023 and protects the rights of pregnant workers, and the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act, which provides federal workers 12 weeks of paid parental leave and was included in legislation signed into law in December 2019. I cosponsor the Healthy Families Act led by Senator Patty Murray of Washington to provide up to 7 days of annual paid sick leave and the Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act led by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
- Supporting working moms.According to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 73 percent of mothers with children under age 18 participated in the U.S. workforce in 2022. I am working to ensure that moms have the support they need to enter and stay in the workforce, which strengthens the financial health of our families. I introduced the Moms Economy Resolution, which recognizes the burdens on working moms and calls for investments in paid leave, child care, the child tax credit, and other support.
- Making education more affordable by:
- Expanding Pell Grants. It’s critical we raise the value of Pell Grants and continue to make more students eligible for these awards. In December 2022, we secured a $500 increase to the maximum Pell Grant award, which builds on the $400 increase made in 2021 and is another step toward doubling the maximum Pell Grant. In 2020, we successfully expanded Pell Grant eligibility for an additional 1.7 million Americans. I also cosponsored the Year-Round Pell Grant Restoration Act—passed in the 2017 spending bill—which restores eligibility for students to apply for Pell grants for summer classes, helping students who do not follow the traditional four-year college path afford higher education. I also support indexing the Pell Grant levels to inflation, allowing Pell Grants to be used toward high-quality, short-term training programs, and expanding eligibility to families to open more doors to higher education for more low- and middle-income students.
- Providing tuition-free access to two-year community and technical colleges.I cosponsored the America’s College Promise Act to create a federal-state partnership that pays for two tuition-free years of school for students in community, technical, or tribal college programs that lead to an associate’s degree, an industry-recognized credential, or credits that are fully transferable to a four-year institution. I also joined Senators Hickenlooper, Fischer, Young, Baldwin, and Wicker in introducing the bipartisan Community College Agriculture Advancement Act to boost resources for agriculture programs—including apprenticeships—at community and technical colleges and help more people access the education and skills they need to keep our agricultural workforce strong.
- Creating opportunities for training and credential programs. I introduced legislation to expand the eligible uses of the ‘529’ tax-advantaged education savings accounts to allow these accounts to be used for training and credential programs that help workers develop the skills needed for 21st-century jobs. To help people develop skills they need for high-demand careers, I introduced the bipartisan Skills Investment Act to expand Coverdell Education Savings Accounts—tax-advantaged savings accounts for educational expenses—so American workers could use the accounts to pay for skills training, career-related learning, and professional development. And I also introduced the bipartisan American Apprenticeship Act to provide tuition assistance to participants in apprenticeship and pre-apprenticeship programs in a variety of industries and occupations.
- Helping students with loan rates and repayment. I continue to support measures to make college more affordable. I have supported improvements to the federal student loan program and advocated that the Department of Education fix issues with the income-driven repayment program to ensure all borrowers have an accurate count of their qualified monthly payments. With this fix, more than 800,000 borrowers met the 20 or 25 years of monthly payments they needed under the program to have their remaining balances forgiven — including over 13,600 Minnesotans. In addition, the Department of Education updated the income-driven repayment program to create a plan that cuts payments on undergraduate loans in half. I worked to pass the College Cost Reduction Act, which created the income-based repayment plan and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program. PSLF has helped more than 660,000 public servants, nonprofit workers, and military service members have their student loans forgiven since 2021.
I also worked to pass a law removing private lenders from the federal student loan system, which saved taxpayers nearly $68 billion and expanded Pell Grants. I supported the American Opportunity Tax Credit, which now saves middle-class families up to $2,500 a year on college tuition, and legislation that would allow student loan borrowers to refinance their student loan debt at lower interest rates. When the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans was set to double—from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent—on July 1, 2013, I cosponsored the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act and the Student Loan Affordability Act to prevent it from happening. I also worked to prevent the rate from immediately doubling in the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act that was signed into law in 2013.
- Expanding access to higher education for low-income and first-generation students. I have been a strong supporter of TRIO programs that continue to provide fundamental support to low-income and first-generation students across Minnesota as they prepare to attend college. I have also been supportive of efforts to simplify the FAFSA form to ensure applying for federal student aid does not serve as a barrier to access to higher education.
- Protect student borrowers and improve student financial literacy. I introduced the Empowering Student Borrowers Act to help students understand the financial implications of student loan debt. Key provisions of this legislation, which were signed into law in May 2018, require institutions of higher education to notify students of their total loan obligations, expected monthly payment, and estimated interest rate, and require the Administration to establish best practices for schools to teach financial literacy to students. I support legislation to make it easier for students and their families to understand financial aid offers and help community-based nonprofits provide assistance to students struggling with student loan debt.
- Passing the most sweeping reform of our consumer product safety laws in decades. I was one of the chief authors of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which was signed into law in August 2008, to give the Consumer Product Safety Commission additional authority, resources, and staff to enforce consumer protection laws. The law contains three important provisions I wrote:
- The first provision bans lead in children’s products. There had been no mandatory federal lead standard for children's products until the law was enacted.
- The second provision requires companies to stamp “batch numbers” on children’s products and their packaging so that parents can quickly identify when products in their homes have been recalled by the government for safety reasons.
- The third provision bans industry-paid travel by members and staff of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Consumers must have confidence that their consumer regulators are free of influence from the industries they supervise.
- Protecting consumers from unsafe wood imports and supporting our timber producers. I authored the bipartisan Formaldehyde Standards for Composite Wood Act, signed into law in 2009, to protect consumers from potentially hazardous levels of formaldehyde in composite wood products and to ensure the U.S. timber industry is on a level playing field with foreign competitors. The Environmental Protection Agency finalized its rule implementing this law in 2017.
- Protecting children from unsafe products.
- IKEA recall. In 2016, Ted McGee, a 22-month-old from Apple Valley, Minnesota, was killed by a falling IKEA Malm dresser. That same model dresser had previously killed or injured other children after tipping over, but IKEA was still selling the dressers and there was little information available about the danger. I urged the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and IKEA to take strong and definitive action to prevent future injuries and deaths from tip-overs of the Malm dresser. CPSC and IKEA later announced the largest furniture recall in U.S. history, agreed to stop sales of the dresser, and offered a full refund to consumers who had purchased Malm dressers. Following reports of the eighth death from a Malm tip-over in 2017, I renewed calls to the CPSC and IKEA to take action to protect children from dangerous furniture, and in November 2017, CPSC and IKEA relaunched the dresser recall. In 2016, I introduced legislation with Senators Bob Casey of Pennsylvania and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut to prevent furniture tipovers. This legislation, which was signed into law in 2022, created the first mandatory standard for manufacturers to test for tipovers and earned the support of advocacy groups including Parents Against Tipovers and major furniture manufacturers like IKEA.
- Window blinds. According to data from the CPSC, nearly every month a child dies after becoming tangled in an exposed window cord. I pushed the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) to take advantage of new technologies and implement the strongest possible child safety protections. In June 2016, WCMA announced that it would update the voluntary safety standard for window coverings to eliminate exposed cords from virtually all window coverings and improve safety for children, which they did in 2018.
- Baby food. A February 2021 report released by the House Oversight Committee found that baby food produced by top brands contained dangerous levels of toxic heavy metals. Since consumption of these toxic heavy metals can have lifelong impacts on a baby’s health and neurological development, I worked on and led legislation with Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi of Illinois that would put standards and timelines in place to make sure baby food is free from these toxic heavy metals and pushed the FDA to take steps to address these toxic heavy metals through enforcement of existing authorities and implementation of new rules. I also directly requested that the FDA take quick and significant action to reduce high levels of toxic heavy metals in baby food and help ensure that the baby food we provide our nation's infants and young children is safe and healthy.
- Carbon Monoxide detectors. My legislation to encourage states to adopt tougher standards to ensure the safety and reliability of carbon monoxide detectors - the Nicholas and Zachary Burt Memorial Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Act - was signed into law in 2022. Named after two young brothers from Kimball, Minnesota, who tragically passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning, this law is helping states adopt tougher standards to ensure carbon monoxide detectors are safe and reliable.
- Reforming our nation’s toxic chemicals policy. Our country’s primary law regulating the production and use of chemicals hadn’t been updated since its passage in 1976. That’s why I supported reforms that would keep our children and families safe from toxic substances while providing businesses with clear standards for developing new products. The Senate bill that updated the Toxic Substances Control Act, which I cosponsored, was signed into law in 2016.
- Passing a new law to protect children from unsafe swimming pools. In 2007, legislation that I helped write to improve the safety of our nation’s public swimming pools was signed into law by President Bush. I took a personal interest in the issue of dangerous swimming pool drains after a horrific incident in the summer of 2007, when six-year-old Abigail Taylor of Edina, Minnesota, was partly disemboweled by the powerful suction of a wading pool drain. After months of surgeries and hospital care, Abigail tragically died from complications from those injuries. It turns out this was not an isolated incident. Government statistics showed dozens of cases in which children were injured or trapped by the powerful suction of these pool drains. Yet, legislation to correct the problem had been stalled in Congress for years. After consulting with the Taylor family and national child safety experts, I wrote two crucial amendments to the pool safety legislation that had been pending before Congress for years. One provision made tough new safety standards retroactive to existing pools that are intended for public use and the other required public pools with single drains to install the latest drain safety technology. Both amendments were included in the final bill. One of my proudest moments as a senator was the night I called Abigail's father, Scott Taylor, to tell him we had adopted the legislation and that President Bush was signing it into law. According to Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) testimony, since the law’s enactment, there have been no deaths caused by pool drains at public pools in the United States.
In 2022, I worked with Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri to introduce bipartisan, bicameral legislation to strengthen pool safety and protect children from drowning. The Virginia Graeme Baker Pool and Spa Safety Reauthorization Act would bolster safety standards for public swimming pools and spas, and promote awareness to prevent pool-related injuries and deaths. This bill updates key provisions from the original law, including expanding eligibility for the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Swimming Pool Safety Grant Program to nonprofits and tribes. This grant program provides state and local governments with funding to help implement enforcement and education programs that help prevent drownings and drain entrapments in pools and spas. Key provisions from this bill became law in 2022, increasing funding for the grant program and expanding grant eligibility to include Tribes.
- Keeping children safe from predators – both on the streets and on the internet. I cosponsored the Protecting Children in the 21st Century Act, which helps parents protect their children from inappropriate website content by requiring the Administration to implement a national educational campaign to promote the safe use of the Internet by children and to create a private sector working group to evaluate industry efforts to promote online safety. And I have worked to combat the heartbreaking crime of child abuse by introducing the National Child Protection Training Act, which would help train child protection professionals, such as teachers, doctors, and prosecutors, to detect and prevent child abuse. As a member of the Senate Commerce and Senate Judiciary Committees, I will continue to fight for additional protections to safeguard children against predators – both on the streets and online. [See Public Safety]
- Strengthening our childhood nutrition programs. I helped lead the passage of the bipartisan Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was signed into law in 2010, to overhaul the major domestic food assistance programs that serve the nutritional needs of 30 million American children each day. I opposed efforts to roll back this important law, which expands access to child nutrition programs to address childhood obesity, improves the nutritional quality of meals to promote health, and helps reduce childhood hunger. The law also included my legislation to improve nutrition standards for meals served in the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and to provide health education and guidance for childcare providers. I also fought to require the U.S. Department of Agriculture to set new nutrition standards for all food served in schools, from lunchrooms to vending machines. I supported the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act, otherwise known as the reauthorization of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, when it passed the Senate Agriculture Committee in 2016. The bill included provisions I authored to improve nutrition education, best practices, and training and technical assistance, which will help support healthy school meals, and preserves important reforms to school nutrition rules. As Congress works on the 2023 Farm Bill, we need to continue to build on the progress we’ve made in tackling the epidemic of childhood obesity.
- Advocating for adoptive families and children. As the Senate co-chair of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, I will continue to fight both in Washington and in Minnesota to advocate for adoptive families and children. My office has worked closely with adoptive families in Minnesota to help them adopt children. I have fought for adoptive families and children by:
- Ensuring children have safe homes. I lead the bipartisan Safe Home Act which protects a parent’s ability to place their children with a trusted relative when appropriate, but ensures they cannot transfer custody to a stranger without the oversight of the child welfare system – without background checks, home studies, and supervision – reducing the likelihood that the child will experience neglect, exploitation, or abuse.
- Completing adoption cases. I have worked to help families impacted by the Russian government’s ban on American adoption of Russian children and called on the Russian government to allow for the completion of adoption cases that were initiated prior to the ban.
- Cutting red tape for adoptive families. I authored the bipartisan Accuracy for Adoptees Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2014, which cuts red tape for adoptive families and ensures that corrections made to adoptees’ birth certificates by state courts would be recognized by the federal government.
- Strengthening pre-and post-adoption services. I introduced the bipartisan Supporting Adoptive Families Act, which would help provide pre- and post-adoption support services, including mental health treatment, to help adoptive families stay strong.
- Helping adopted siblings stay together. I also authored and passed the International Adoption Simplification Act to help siblings stay together during an international adoption and protect adoptees from unsafe immunizations in foreign countries.
- Supporting people with disabilities and their families. I have fought to protect against cuts to the Medicaid program, which provides health coverage to over 10 million people with disabilities in our country. I was a strong supporter of the Affordable Care Act, which stopped insurance companies from denying people coverage due to pre-existing conditions. I also support fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to help students with disabilities receive the services they need, and I am a cosponsor of legislation to put Congress on a fiscally responsible path to fully fund this critical law. I also worked to get the Achieving a Better Life Experience – or ABLE – Act signed into law, which allows people with disabilities to use tax-advantaged savings accounts to cover expenses like education, transportation, and housing without putting other support they count on at risk.
Unfortunately, people living with a severe disability are more than twice as likely to live in poverty compared with people without disabilities. To make it easier to participate in the ABLE account program, I am also a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to help people with lower incomes participate in the ABLE program by creating a federal dollar-for-dollar match for new and existing ABLE accounts held by individuals that make $28,000 or less.
Additionally, I support expanding these ABLE accounts to people who develop a disability before they turn age 46–older than age 26 under current law. I also support allowing families to transfer funds saved in a 529 education savings account into an ABLE account without incurring a tax penalty, and increasing the amount that people with disabilities can save in an ABLE account if they are working and earning an income.
- Helping families to recover missing loved ones, including children with disabilities and seniors with dementia. In 2017 I led a bipartisan bill with Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa to increase funding and broaden the scope of the Missing Alzheimer’s Disease Patient Alert Program to support wandering kids with developmental disabilities—it’s now called the Missing Americans Alert Program. The legislation was named Kevin and Avonte’s Law, in honor of two boys who died as a result of wandering incidents. Our bill included funding to equip law enforcement with the tools needed to recover missing loved ones, including potentially lifesaving tracking equipment like transmitter bracelets. It also provides grants to educate caregivers on how to prevent wandering.
This vital program was set to expire, so Senator Grassley and I knew we had to act. I am proud that we were able to extend this lifesaving program through 2027 with the Kevin and Avonte’s Law Reauthorization Act, which was passed as part of the National Defense Authorization Act in 2022.
- Assisting families in caring for seniors.More than half of older Americans are projected to need some type of long-term care, services, and supports in their lives. While nursing homes and paid care providers serve our seniors in many situations, a lot of elder care comes from informal caregivers – spouses, or adult children taking care of their parents. Additionally, informal caregiving does not end when a person transitions from the community to residential care. I have introduced and cosponsored multiple bipartisan bills to improve the quality of life for seniors and encourage the use of remote monitoring technology and telehealth services in Medicare and other programs. These bills include the CHRONIC Care Act—which expanded the use of telehealth and was signed into law in 2018—the Independence at Home Act, and the CONNECT for Health Act. I also cosponsored the Improving HOPE for Alzheimer’s Act, which was signed into law in 2020 to strengthen federal support for Alzheimer’s research and improve the benefit structure under Medicare. More recently, I introduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act, which would establish a tax credit for up to $6,000 to assist with the costs of caring for an aging family member. I also introduced the bipartisan Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act with Senator Susan Collins, which would expand training and support services for families and caregivers of patients with Alzheimer’s and related dementias. [See Seniors]
- Ensuring that low-income Minnesotans receive heating assistance. I have consistently supported increased heating assistance through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). When the Trump Administration proposed eliminating LIHEAP in the budget, I directly requested that the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reconsider and I was part of a bipartisan effort that helped save the program. In 2023, I worked with my colleagues across the aisle to urge the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to release supplemental funds for the LIHEAP in a timely manner and at the highest possible funding level. As we prepare for another winter, I will continue to ensure the program is well-funded and available to those who need it.