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U.S. Senator Tina Smith Joins Colleagues in Push to Fight Food Insecurity as Benefits Cliff Approaches

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-MN) joined 32 of her Senate colleagues in a push to extend child nutrition waivers ahead of their expiration and enact a robust set of child nutrition priorities. With school summer break already underway in many states, it is vital that Congress extends and expands these programs as low-income families are facing a steep benefits cliff when the waivers expire on June 30, 2022. In their letter to Congressional leaders, the Senators call for extended child nutrition waivers, the creation of a nationwide Summer EBT program, and expanded community eligibility (CEP), a flexible meal service option for school districts in low-income areas. These provisions are critical to fighting child hunger and food insecurity. “The pandemic has highlighted the importance of the child nutrition programs and the role they play in keeping hunger at bay for millions of children across the country. As schools close for summer across the country, families will soon lose access to free school meals and be faced with the prospect of increased food insecurity, weight gain, and learning disruptions,” said the senators. “As Congress develops legislation to support families impacted by high food costs, we must help ease the burden of these challenges and ensure that these child nutrition programs can fully meet children’s nutritional needs while they are at school, afterschool and summer programs, and childcare.” “More must be done to fuel children’s health and learning as millions of families continue to struggle with the fallout of COVID-19. Extending the

U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Minnesotans Aren’t Forced to Pay Ex-Spouses’ Student Debt

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that legislation she co-led to provide relief to individuals with consolidated loan debt with a spouse – including victims of domestic violence and financial abuse – has taken a major step towards becoming law. The billwould allow individuals to sever joint consolidation loans with a former spouse, which will provide long overdue financial freedom for vulnerable individuals who are being unfairly held responsible for the debt of a former partner.  While Congress eliminated the program to allow spouses to consolidate their loans in 2006, it did not provide a mechanism for severing existing loans, leaving thousands of people forced to pay the students loans of their former partners.  These loans also locked married couples out of federal programs to provide loan forgiveness for teachers, firefighters, and other public servants.  “It’s not fair for Minnesotans to be left on the hook for the students loans of a former spouse.  Survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse should not be tied to their abuser by student loans,” said Sen. Smith. “Sixteen years ago Congress ended a misguided loan program, but it did nothing to allow those who already had these loans a fair and appropriate way to cut ties. This bill will allow individuals to sever their joint consolidation loans that links them to a former partner – an especially important step for victims of domestic abuse.  I am pleased to announce the passage of this common sense bipartisan legislation in the Senate, and

Sen. Tina Smith: Bipartisan Bill to Help Patients in Minnesota, Across the Country Pay Lower Prices for Prescription Drugs One Step Closer to Becoming Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/26/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said today that a measure she helped push through the Senate—which would help patients in Minnesota and across the country pay less  for their prescription drugs—has also passed the House, clearing the way for the President to sign it into law. Sen. Smith said The Patient Right to Know Drug Prices Act prohibits “gag clauses” that prevent pharmacists from telling customers that they could save money by paying cash rather than using their insurance. It passed the Senate earlier this month.   “Medication is expensive enough as it is, there is no reason that drug industry

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Outlines Bipartisan Steps Administration Can Take to Help Farmers in Minnesota, Across the Country

WASHINGTON, D.C. [09/26/18]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, pressed the President and other top Trump Administration farm and trade officials to quickly take several meaningful steps to address the growing economic unease being felt by farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and across the country. In a letter sent Wednesday, Sen. Smith outlined several immediate steps the President and top Administration farm and trade officials could take to open markets for farm products and provide relief to farmers hit hard by trade uncertainties and falling farm prices.  “During my recent conversations with Minnesota farmers, I

After Months-Long Tour of State, U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Introduces Bill to Improve Access to Child Care in Minnesota, Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/01/18]—After hearing from families, business, and community leaders across Minnesota throughout this year, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) has introduced legislation to address the growing child care shortage across the state. Sen. Smith said the shortage is not only hurting Minnesota working families who often must travel many miles to find child care, but it’s also stifled local businesses’ ability to attract workers, and it’s cut short many communities’ efforts to grow and prosper.  Her legislation, the Child Care Supply Improvement Act, would provide assistance for child care facilities, support child care providers in areas related to safety and

Senator Tina Smith Helps Bipartisan Conservation Bill Move Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/02/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) said that a bipartisan measure that she helped push through the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee today will invest in protecting and enhancing important Minnesota land and water resources. The bill, which Sen. Smith cosponsored, would permanently authorize and fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which has invested millions of dollars in Minnesota in the past several decades. The bill is now expected to move to the full Senate. You can watch a video from today’s hearing of Sen. Smith highlighting the importance of the LWCF to Minnesota here. “In Minnesota,

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