(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Congressman Jamie Raskin’s legislation to study the effects of technology and media on the mental and physical health of children is gaining bipartisan momentum in Congress. As of today, 85 House Members have cosponsored the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, H.R. 1367, which would commission research on children’s technology use and particular health outcomes including addiction, bullying, and depression.
The CAMRA Act authorizes the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to lead a research program on technology and media’s effects on infants, children, and adolescents in core areas of cognitive, physical, and socio-emotional development. This research would investigate the effects on children of exposure to, and use of, media such as mobile devices, computers, social media, applications, websites, television, motion pictures, artificial intelligence, video games, and virtual and augmented reality. The bill authorizes $15 million for fiscal years 2020-2022, and $25 million for each of fiscal years 2023 and 2024.
“As the Representative of the community which includes the NIH and as a father of three children, I’m delighted this bipartisan legislation is gaining momentum in Congress,” said Rep. Raskin. “As screen time replaces play time, America’s parents and caregivers need to know how technology is reshaping the cognitive, physical, and emotional growth of our children. We need a real understanding of what the new Internet age is doing to our kids, both positively and negatively.”
Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC), the lead Republican cosponsor of the House legislation, penned a recent op-ed about the CAMRA Act, stating: “There’s no question that the use of technology for the purpose of learning in the classroom can have a positive impact on childhood education. But I think it’s also important that we conduct long-term research into the ramifications of the overuse of technology by our young people.”
H.R. 1367 currently has 85 cosponsors, including:
Representatives Nanette Diaz Barragán, Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Brendan F. Boyle, Julia Brownley, Ted Budd, Cheri Bustos, Salud Carbajal, Tony Cardenas, Sean Casten, Kathy Castor, David N. Cicilline, Yvette D. Clarke, Wm. Lacy Clay, Steve Cohen, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Henry Cuellar, Susan A. Davis, Madeleine Dean, Peter A. DeFazio, Diana DeGette, Mark DeSaulnier, Debbie Dingell, Mike Doyle, John Garamendi, Raúl M. Grijalva, Deb Haaland, Josh Harder, Jahana Hayes, Brian Higgins, James Himes, Kendra Horn, Jared Huffman, Pramila Jayapal, "Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.", Robin Kelly, Joseph P. Kennedy, Ro Khanna, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Ann McLane Kuster, Sheila Jackson Lee, Barbara Lee, Mike Levin, Andy Levin, Ted Lieu, Zoe Lofgren, Alan Lowenthal, Ben Ray Luján, Tom Malinowski, Doris Matsui, A. Donald McEachin, James P. McGovern, Mark Meadows, Joseph D. Morelle, Seth Moulton, Joe Neguse, Donald Norcross, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Tom O’Halleran, Jimmy Panetta, Scott Peters, Mark Pocan, Katie Porter, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Max Rose, Raul Ruiz, Bobby L. Rush, Tim Ryan, John Sarbanes, Jan Schakowsky, Kim Schrier, Robert C. “Bobby” Scott, Terri A. Sewell, Donna E. Shalala, Darren Soto, Jackie Speier, Thomas R. Suozzi, Eric Swalwell, Mike Thompson, Paul D. Tonko, Lori Trahan, David Trone, Ann Wagner, Peter Welch.
Senators Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Ben Sasse (R-Neb.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), and Susan Collins (R-Maine) have introduced a Senate companion bill, S. 558, to Rep. Raskin and Budd’s House legislation.
Companies and organizations endorsing the bicameral legislation include: American Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, Center for Digital Democracy, Common Sense Media, Lego Group, Sesame Street, Consumers Union, Children and Screens: Institute of Digital Media and Child Development, Dr. Jenny Radesky (Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Developmental Behavior, University of Michigan Medical School), Dr. Michael Rich (Director, Center on Media and Child Health at Boston Children’s Hospital), Family Online Safety Institute, the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health, Center for Humane Technology, Education Development Center, Child Mind Institute, National Association of School Psychologists, Trisha Prahbu (CEO, ReThink), Dr. David Greenfield (Founder and CMO, The Center for Internet and Technology Addiction), National Parent Teacher Association, Dr. Ellen Wartella (Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor of Communication, Northwestern University), Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Charter Communications, Twitter, the Internet Association, Ion Media, Litton Entertainment, Alexis Ohanian (co-founder of Reddit).
To learn more about the Children and Media Research Advancement (CAMRA) Act, click here.