Senate Hearing a Step Toward Protecting Kids
Washington — The First Focus Campaign for Children today commended Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and her Senate Appropriations Committee colleagues for holding a hearing on the impact of federal budget sequestration. The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization cited a recent First Focus analysis finding that sequestration would result in immediate cuts of more than $4 billion to federal investments in children.
“Chairwoman Mikulski and the Senate Appropriations Committee understand that sequestration isn’t just about numbers in a ledger – it’s about real children and families,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley.
Unless Congress acts before March 1st, cuts of $4.2 billion to 2013 funding will take effect immediately. These sequestration cuts will affect funding for early education, K-12 education, housing assistance for children, child nutrition, child abuse and neglect prevention, and other critical priorities. However, as First Focus has observed, fiscal proposals passed by the House of Representatives in 2012 would replace the sequester with deep and dangerous cuts to children’s health care, child nutrition, and other investments in children.
“We can’t let Congress stand by as sequestration undermines America’s future, but we need real budget solutions that don’t trade one attack on children for another,” said Lesley.
Polling conducted by the Campaign for Children confirmed that presidential general election voters overwhelmingly support maintaining and strengthening critical investments in children. Specifically, 81 percent of voters backed protecting family tax credits that together lift more than five million children out of poverty, and 83 percent of voters supported protecting the Children’s Health Insurance Program. And by a three-to-one margin (66 to 22 percent), voters support creating an official “children’s budget,” to provide a detailed accounting of federal investments in children.
“The Senate Appropriations Committee is responding to voters’ priorities, by connecting the dots between federal budget choices and real consequences for kids and families. Congress should create an official ‘children’s budget’ to provide a comprehensive look at the impact of budget choices on America’s children,” 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.