News

Obama Administration Policy Opens Doors of Opportunity

Washington — President Obama announced reforms yesterday that will permit undocumented students with established ties to the United States who have attained academic success and meet moral character standards to remain present in the U.S. and contribute to America’s culture and economy.“The president’s decision is a major victory for children and America’s economy. It will open new doors of opportunity to hundreds of thousands of young people, and their hard work will benefit our whole country,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.The Administration’s actions would allow eligible children and young adults to apply for deferred action, protecting...

This Week in Poverty: Disposable Families in Ohio

The Nation's This Week in PovertyFortunately Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced an amendment that restores the $4.5 billion cut to SNAP over ten years and invests $500 million in the Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Snack program, which provides healthy produce to more than 3 million children through their local schools. The Gillibrand amendment seems to be gaining momentum, with more senators singing on as cosponsors. You can reach your senators and tell them to cosponsor through the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121.“Nearly half of every SNAP dollar goes to feed children, and with one in five children already affected...

Children’s Advocates Urge Support for Gillibrand SNAP Amendment

Washington – The First Focus Campaign for Children sent a letter Tuesday urging U.S. senators to support an amendment expected this week from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to restore a proposed cut of $4.5 billion over ten years in federal funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). The children’s advocacy organization endorsed Gillibrand’s amendment, citing data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing that 20 percent of children live in homes where they or a family member is affected by hunger.“Nearly half of every SNAP dollar goes to feed children, and with one-in-five children already affected by hunger,...

Latest IRS Rule Postpones Decision on Affordable Family Coverage

Washington — The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Friday, in a prepublication version of Affordable Care Act (ACA) Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit regulations, signaled that future ACA rulemakings will address concerns raised by advocates for children and families about the affordability of employer-sponsored health insurance for children and spouses. The First Focus Campaign for Children and more than 100 other national and state advocates sent a letter in early March, urging the agency to fix a provision of the draft rule. That provision would determine whether an employer-sponsored health plan is affordable for an entire family based...

U.S. House to Kids & Moms: Eat Cake

Washington - The U.S. House of Representatives today voted 218-199 to approve a federal budget “reconciliation” package (H.R. 5652) that would deepen cuts to America’s investments in children. This legislative package, approved just three days before Mother’s Day, cuts critical investments that help parents meet their children’s basic needs, including healthcare, nutrition, economic stability, childcare, and safety from abuse and neglect. First Focus has completed a comprehensive analysis of the reconciliation package’s cuts to children’s initiatives, but congressional leadership has not requested an analysis of the consequences of this package for children. The First Focus Campaign for Children

Ryan budget hurts children

Milwaukee Journal SentinelIt was encouraging to read "State poverty drops in recession, study finds," that federal initiatives such as SNAP (formerly food stamps), Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (BadgerCare in Wisconsin), child care and tax credits for working families are protecting Wisconsin families from the recession's worst consequences (JSOnline, April 25).It makes me ask: Why does the U.S. House budget plan crafted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) cut all of them?We're a kids' advocacy group, and kids have a lot at stake in this debate. The Ryan budget makes hundreds of billions of dollars in cuts...

Politicians and Big Ag Kill Rule to Save Children’s Lives

Washington — Thursday, the U.S. Labor Department scuttled a proposed rule that would have saved the lives of 85 children every year and prevented thousands more children from grave injuries requiring hospitalization, by prohibiting corporate farms from assigning them to the most dangerous forms of agribusiness labor. The First Focus Campaign for Children and a coalition of children’s advocates, faith groups, human rights champions, and advocates for working families backed the proposal, which exempted children working on family farms owned by their parents. First Focus Campaign for Children also supports legislation (the CARE Act, H.R. 2234) sponsored by U.S. Rep....

Protect Investments in Child Nutrition, Advocacy Group Tells Senate Committee

Washington – Tuesday, the bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children sent letters to every member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, asking that federal nutrition legislation scheduled for consideration by the committee today maintain the nation’s investment in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps). The text of the letter sent to Committee Chairwoman Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) appears below.“SNAP works – it provides nutritious food, so more than 20 million kids can stay focused on learning, and reduces poverty by helping parents make ends meet during tough economic times,” said First Focus Campaign...

House Committee’s Budget Plan Threatens the Health Coverage of Millions of Children

Washington – Today, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee voted 30-22 to pass legislation that could negatively impact the health insurance coverage of millions of children. The legislation, required by the House budget resolution for federal fiscal year 2013, would cut $113 billion out of health insurance and public health programs across the country.Among the cuts, the budget package would repeal the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) Medicaid maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement, which protects coverage for low-income children and other vulnerable populations by requiring states to maintain their pre-ACA Medicaid eligibility rules through 2019. If this provision...

House Ag Committee Targets Children, Slashes $36 Billion from SNAP

Washington — The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture passed legislation Wednesday that would cut the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) by $36 billion over ten years, an estimated $17 billion of which would serve children. First Focus Campaign for Children’s analysis shows that 49% of SNAP funding benefits children, by providing milk, vegetables, and other groceries for more than 20 million children. The committee, which also has jurisdiction over a wide range of agriculture programs including corporate agribusiness and export subsidies, singled out SNAP for cuts. One in five American children goes to sleep at...