Langevin, McMorris Rodgers Applaud House Passage of Their Bill to Strengthen Support for Family Caregivers

Jul 24, 2019 Issues: Children and Families, Health Care

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) applauded House passage of the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019, their bipartisan bill to strengthen coordinated respite services for family members who care for loved ones with disabilities and other chronic health conditions. The legislation, which Langevin and McMorris Rodgers introduced in April, authorizes $200 million in funding over the next five years for the Lifespan Respite Care Program. Passage of the bill, which occurred by voice vote under expedited House procedures, comes just two days before the 29th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“Today’s vote will come as welcome news to the 43 million people nationwide who are currently providing care to a loved one in need,” said Congressman Langevin. “While caring for a loved one has its own rewards, it can also be incredibly taxing when there are no opportunities for reprieve. That’s why I first fought for the creation of the Lifespan Respite Care Program and why I am thrilled the House has passed today’s reauthorization to ensure this critical program is properly funded moving forward.”

“There are millions of people in America today providing care to loved ones with chronic, debilitating conditions. Respite care agencies provide these family caregivers with short-term relief and serve as an essential part of a comprehensive health care approach,” said Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers. “Thank you to Rep. Jim Langevin for partnering on this bipartisan legislation to expand services and access to respite care and improve outcomes for people in Eastern Washington and all across the country. I look forward to continue working to see this legislation signed into law.”

“The ARCH National Respite Coalition applauds Representatives Langevin and McMorris Rodgers for championing respite for family caregivers by introducing the reauthorization of the Lifespan Respite Care Act,” said Jill Kagan, director of the ARCH National Respite Coalition. “Respite has been shown to help alleviate caregiving stress, improve family wellbeing, and avoid or delay more costly out-of-home placements. The Lifespan Respite Care Program has helped advance respite availability to thousands of family caregivers across the country who otherwise would not have access to this vital support service. We pledge to work with Representatives Langevin and McMorris Rodgers to make Lifespan Respite available in every state.”

The Lifespan Respite Care Act was first authored by Langevin in 2002, and he served as the primary Democratic sponsor of the bill when it was enacted into law in 2006.

The Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019 authorizes program funding for the next 5 years: $20,000,000 for fiscal year 2020; $30,000,000 for fiscal year 2021; $40,000,000 for fiscal year 2022; $50,000,000 for fiscal year 2023; and $60,000,000 for fiscal year 2024.