50+ Representatives Want Budget Solutions that Protect Kids

Washington — The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus Campaign for Children today thanked Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) and more than 50 other representatives for signing a letter challenging congressional leadership and President Barack Obama to find budget solutions that protect critical investments in children.

“Every parent should thank Congressman Davis and his colleagues for their leadership in defense of children. The cynics say it’s all politics in Washington, but this important public commitment by more than 50 members of Congress shows that lawmakers are willing to put kids first,” said Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.

The letter, originated by Rep. Davis’ office, underscores the value federal investments like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly Food Stamps) in mitigating childhood hunger and Medicaid in covering uninsured children. It also describes the consequences of federal budget “sequestration” cuts for children, ranging from cuts that increase the out-of-pocket cost of child care to cuts that make early education less available and deny housing assistance to children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. It urges the President and congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to hold children harmless in upcoming debates over sequestration, the federal budget, and the national debt limit.

The budget passed this week by the U.S. House of Representatives’ Budget Committee would make deep cuts in critical children’s initiatives, like SNAP and Medicaid, as well as a wide range of “non-defense domestic discretionary” budget initiatives serving children, including education, housing, and child abuse and neglect prevention and response. By contrast, the budget passed by the Senate Budget Committee this week would protect critical children’s initiatives.

“The threats are real and urgent, but Congressman Davis and his colleagues are right. We can’t build a stronger tomorrow for children by denying them the things they need to succeed today,” said Lesley.

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The First Focus Campaign for Children is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization affiliated with First Focus, a bipartisan children's advocacy organization. The Campaign for Children advocates directly for legislative change in Congress to ensure children and families are a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.ffcampaignforchildren.org.

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