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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

House Appropriations Committee Adopts McCollum Amendments During of FY19 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Appropriations Bill Markup

July 12, 2018
Press Release

Representative Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.) yesterday offered an amendment during the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education appropriations bill markup that would permit individuals who are diagnosed with cancer to defer payments on their public student loans while they receive lifesaving treatment. This amendment was adopted by the House Appropriations Committee.

“In certain circumstances such as going back to school, joining the armed services, and becoming permanently disabled, we allow individuals to defer their public student loan payments,” Representative McCollum said. “Unfortunately, for the more than 70,000 young adults diagnosed with cancer each year, cancer treatment does not qualify for deferment. These patients have enough problems to deal with and quite frankly, paying their student loans should not be one of them.”

The amendment would allow individuals who are receiving cancer treatment to defer payments on their loans for up to 6 months after their treatment concludes.

Additionally, the House Appropriations Committee adopted an amendment offered by Representative Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Representative Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn) that would prevent the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) from medicating children taken into detention at the U.S.-Mexico border without parental consent or access to proper medical records. With thousands of unaccompanied children being separated from their parents under the Trump administration’s zero-tolerance policy, this amendment will provide protection from negligent medical treatment.

“Not only is drugging frightened children outrageous and unacceptable, it is downright dangerous to the child’s health,” Representative McCollum said. “Here in the US, a school nurse can’t administer medicine to a young student without parental consent unless it is an absolute emergency. Administering these drugs without proper medical records and parental consent could lead to catastrophic health side effects.”

The Clark-McCollum amendment would ensure that no ORR funds may be used to medicate unaccompanied children unless a proper medical evaluation is performed, or in the case of a medical emergency.