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Donald Payne on Families & Children

Democratic Representative (NJ-10)


Voted YES on four weeks of paid parental leave for federal employees.

Congressional Summary:Allows federal employees to substitute any available paid leave for any leave without pay available for either the: (1) birth of a child; or (2) placement of a child with the employee for either adoption or foster care. Makes available for any of the 12 weeks of leave an employee is entitled to for such purposes: (1) four administrative weeks of paid parental leave in connection with the birth or placement involved; and (2) any accumulated annual or sick leave.

Proponent's argument to vote Yes:

Rep. STEVE LYNCH (D, MA-9): This bill takes an important step toward improving the Federal Government's ability to recruit and retain a highly qualified workforce by providing paid parental leave to Federal and Congressional employees for the birth, adoption or placement of a child for foster care, which is a benefit that is extended to many in the private sector in other industrialized countries.

Opponent's argument to vote No:Rep. DARRELL ISSA (R, CA-49): This bill sends the wrong message at the wrong time to working American taxpayers and families that are struggling in difficult times. Our economy is in crisis, and deficits are already soaring. This bill does not have one provision to say if you make $170,000 a year, why do we have to give you this benefit, because you have to choose between feeding your children and being with your children? Certainly not. There are no protections against, in fact, those who do not need this special benefit getting it. There are no safeguards at all. As a matter of fact, this bill envisions the $1 billion over 5 years, swelling to $4 billion over 10 years or more because, in fact, they believe it should be 8 weeks of special leave. Federal employees enjoy one of the highest levels of job security, without a doubt, anywhere in the United States. I would venture to say many of them the highest. More importantly, in good times and bad, they keep their jobs.

Reference: Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act; Bill H.R.626 ; vote number 2009-H310 on Jun 4, 2009

Voted NO on establishing nationwide AMBER alert system for missing kids.

Vote to adopt the conference report on the bill that would assign a national coordinator for AMBER alerts. AMBER alerts is an alert system for missing children, make available additional protections for children and set stricter punishments for sex offenders. Two-time child sex offenders would be subjected to mandatory life sentence. The measure would make it a crime to pander visual illustrations of children as child pornography. It would increase maximum sentences for a number of specified crimes against children. It would also make it a crime to take a trip to foreign countries and engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor. It also would enlarge law enforcement's wiretap and electronic surveillance abilities in investigations of child pornography.
Reference: Child Abduction Prevention Act; Bill S 151 ; vote number 2003-127 on Apr 10, 2003

Voted NO on reducing Marriage Tax by $399B over 10 years.

Vote to pass a bill that would reduce taxes for married people by $399.2 billion over 10 years by doubling the couples' deduction and the child tax credit. Among other provisions, the bill would allow married couples filing jointly to claim a standard deduction equal to the deduction they would receive filing singly.
Reference: Bill sponsored by Weller, R-IL; Bill HR 6 ; vote number 2001-75 on Mar 29, 2001

Member of the Missing & Exploited Children's Caucus.

Payne is a member of the Congressional Missing & Exploited Children's Caucus

    Statement Of Purpose

  1. To build awareness around the issue of missing and exploited children for the purpose of finding children who are currently missing and to prevent future abductions.

  2. To create a voice within Congress on the issue of missing and exploited children and introduce legislation that would strengthen law enforcement, community organizing and school-based efforts to address child abduction.

  3. To identify ways to work effectively in our districts to address child abduction. By developing cooperative efforts that involve police departments, educators, and community groups we can heighten awareness of the issue and pool resources for the purpose of solving outstanding cases and preventing future abductions.
Source: Congressional Caucus Web site 01-CMECC0 on Jan 8, 2001

Rated 9% by the Christian Coalition: an anti-Family-Value voting record.

Payne scores 9% by the Christian Coalition on family issues

The Christian Coalition was founded in 1989 by Dr. Pat Robertson to give Christians a voice in government. We represent millions of people of faith and enable them to have a strong, unified voice in the conversation we call democracy.

    Our Five-Fold Mission:
  1. Represent the pro-family point of view before local councils, school boards, state legislatures, and Congress
  2. Speak out in the public arena and in the media
  3. Train leaders for effective social and political action
  4. Inform pro-family voters about timely issues and legislation
  5. Protest anti-Christian bigotry and defend the rights of people of faith.
Our ratings are based on the votes the organization considered most important; the numbers reflect the percentage of time the representative voted the organization's preferred position.
Source: CC website 03n-CC on Dec 31, 2003

Ban high lead levels in children's toys.

Payne co-sponsored banning high lead levels in children's toys

OFFICIAL CONGRESSIONAL SUMMARY: A bill to direct the Consumer Product Safety Commission to classify certain children's products containing lead to be banned hazardous substances.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS: Sen. OBAMA: The unfortunate reality for many children--particularly in low-income and minority households--is the continued presence of high blood lead levels. Lead is a highly toxic substance that can produce a range of health problems in young children, including IQ deficiencies, hyperactivity, and damage to the kidneys, brain and bone marrow.

We know that lead poisoning is completely preventable. As the Nation has increased efforts to reduce environmental lead exposure, the number of children with high blood levels has steadily dropped. Restricting lead in gasoline and paint represent two major accomplishments in this regard. But much work remains to be done.

Disturbingly, lead is present in a number of toys and other frequently used objects by young children. About half of tested lunch boxes have unsafe levels of lead. In 2004, there were 3 recalls of nearly 150 million pieces of toy jewelry because of toxic levels of lead. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission has dragged its feet in aggressively addressing the problem of lead in toys.

It's a national disgrace that toys that could pose a serious and significant danger to children are readily available in our department stores and markets. The Lead Free Toys Act of 2005 will help us keep our children safe and healthy, and contribute to national efforts to reduce lead exposure.

LEGISLATIVE OUTCOME:Referred to Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; never came to a vote.

Source: Lead Free Toys Act (S.2048/H.R.668) 05-S2048 on Nov 17, 2005

Call for a White House Conference on Children and Youth.

Payne co-sponsored calling for a White House Conference on Children and Youth

The White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act - Directs the President to call a White House Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 to: (1) encourage improvements in each state and local child welfare system; and (2) develop recommendations for actions to implement express policy regarding federal, state, and local programs. The Congress finds the following:

  1. In 2005 there were over 3,000,000 reports of child abuse and neglect, and only 60% of the children from the substantiated reports received follow-up services and 20% were placed in foster care as a result of an investigation.
  2. Almost 500,000 children and youth were in foster care at the end of 2004 and nearly 800,000 spent at least some time in foster care throughout the year.
  3. There is an over-representation of certain populations, including Native Americans and African-Americans, in the child welfare system.
  4. The State courts make key decisions in the lives of children involved in the child welfare system, including decisions of whether children have been victims of child abuse, whether parental rights should be terminated, and whether children should be reunified with their families, adopted, or placed in other settings.
Source: Conference on Children and Youth in 2010 Act (S2771/HR5461) 08-S2771 on Mar 13, 2008

Sex Ed including both abstinence and contraception.

Payne signed H.R.1551&S.611

Authorizes grants to states for sex education programs, including education on abstinence and contraception, to prevent teenage pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Expresses the sense of Congress that states are encouraged, although not required, to provide matching funds to receive such grants.

Requires the Secretary to provide for a national evaluation of a representative sample of such programs for effectiveness in delaying the initiation of sexual intercourse and other high-risk behaviors, preventing pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease, and increasing contraceptive knowledge and behavior. Requires states receiving such grants to provide for an individual evaluation of the state's program by an external, independent entity.

Source: Responsible Education About Life Act 09-HR1551 on Mar 17, 2009

Increase number of children eligible for free school meals.

Payne signed increasing number of children eligible for free school meals

A bill to amend the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act and the Child Nutrition Act of 1966 to increase the number of children eligible for free school meals, with a phased-in transition period. Expands eligibility for free meals under the school lunch and breakfast programs to children whose family income falls at or below 185% of the federal poverty guidelines.

SPONSOR'S INTRODUCTORY REMARKS:

Sen. FRANKEN: In a country as wealthy as ours, it is shameful to let any child go hungry. That is why today, Senator Murkowski and I are introducing the Expand School Meals Act. By eliminating the reduced price meals category and replacing it with the free meal program, this legislation will ensure that low-income children are not denied nutritious food during the school day if their family can't afford to pay for it.

It is important to remember that this will improve student readiness for school. Parents have long known, and recent studies confirm, that children cannot learn on empty stomachs. Hungry children perform worse on achievement tests, have trouble concentrating, and are more likely to act out in school.

There are 3.1 million low-income children across the Nation eligible for reduced-price school meals. Currently, these families must pay 40 cents for each lunch and 30 cents for each breakfast their children eat at school. While this may not sound like a lot of money to members of Congress, to a family that is barely scraping by, especially in today's economy, the cost can be prohibitive.

I would like to conclude by commending my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their leadership in advocating for the extension of free school meals to children of the working poor. These efforts began with Senator Elizabeth Dole, who in 2003 introduced a bill that would have also phased out the reduced price meals category.

Source: Expand School Meals Act (S.1737 & HR.3075) 2009-S1737 on Oct 1, 2009

Teach teens about both abstinence & contraception.

Payne signed Responsible Education About Life Act

    To provide for the reduction of adolescent pregnancy, HIV rates, and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), Congress finds as follows:
  1. Leading public health organizations stress the need for sexuality education that includes messages about abstinence and contraception.
  2. A 2005 statement [to Congress] urged that 'Sexuality education should be non-judgmental & support parent-child communication & should not impose religious or ideological viewpoints upon students.'
  3. [A Congressionally-sponsored] 2006 position paper that 'Efforts to promote abstinence should include information about concepts of healthy sexuality, sexual orientation & tolerance, personal responsibility, risks of HIV, access to reproductive health care, and benefits & risks of condoms & other contraceptive methods.'
  4. 8 in 10 Americans believe that sex education should promote abstinence and provide information about the effectiveness & benefits of contraception.
  5. There is strong evidence that more comprehensive sex education can effectively help young people delay sexual initiation, even as it increases contraceptive use among sexually active youth.
  6. There is no evidence that federally funded abstinence-only-until-marriage programs are effective in stopping or delaying teen sex.
  7. Most young people have sex for the first time at about age 17, but do not marry until their late 20s. Hence young adults are at risk of unwanted pregnancy & STDs for nearly a decade.

Source: S.611&HR1551 2009-S611 on Mar 17, 2009

2012 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Families & Children: Donald Payne on other issues:
NJ Gubernatorial:
Chris Christie
Cory Booker
NJ Senatorial:
Frank Lautenberg
Gwen Diakos
Joe Kyrillos
Robert Menendez

Retiring to run for other office:

Running for President:
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)

Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)

Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-1:Jay Inslee(D)

Running for Senate:
AZ-6:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
FL-14:Connie Mack(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
NY-9:Bob Turner(R)
WI-2:Tammy Baldwin(D)
Lost Primary 2012:
IL-16:Donald Manzullo(R)
NJ-9:Steven Rothman(D)
OH-2:Jean Schmidt(R)
OH-9:Dennis Kucinich(D)
PA-4:Jason Altmire(D)
PA-17:Tim Holden(D)
TX-16:Silvestre Reyes(D)

Retiring 2012:
AR-4:Mike Ross(D)
AZ-8:Gabby Giffords(D)
CA-2:Wally Herger(R)
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
CA-18:Dennis Cardoza(R)
CA-24:Elton Gallegly(D)
CA-26:David Dreier(R)
CA-41:Jerry Lewis(R)
IL-12:Jerry Costello(D)
IL-15:Timothy Johnson(R)
IN-5:Dan Burton(R)
KY-4:Geoff Davis(R)
MA-1:John Olver(D)
MA-4:Barney Frank(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
NC-9:Sue Myrick(R)
NC-11:Heath Shuler(D)
NC-13:Brad Miller(D)
NY-5:Gary Ackerman(D)
NY-10:Ed Towns(D)
NY-22:Maurice Hinchey(D)
OH-7:Steve Austria(R)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
PA-19:Todd Platts(R)
TX-20:Charles Gonzalez(D)
WA-6:Norm Dicks(D)
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Page last updated: Jun 10, 2012