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Be a voice for kids

Each year, Congress must pass its twelve appropriations bills in order to fund the federal government for the following fiscal year starting October 1. One of the largest and most important appropriations bills when it comes to children, is the Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education and Related Agencies annual spending bill. This legislation provides funding for the Department of Education, most agencies at the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, and more than a dozen related agencies.

The House of Representatives has begun action on its Labor HHS, Education bill for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25), and unfortunately, alarming decisions have recently been made that could have devastating consequences for children if they are allowed to stand. As the bill moves through the legislative process, we will seek to mitigate the damage to children by pushing back on harmful proposed funding cuts.

On June 26, House Appropriators released draft text of the Labor, HHS, and Education bill for FY25. The draft provides $24.6 Billion below 2024 levels and $36 Billion less than what the administration requested for FY25 and instead proposes damaging cuts to many critical support programs and completely eliminates others.

In the area of health: overall, Health and Human Services programs were slashed in the bill by 6.4 percent from 2024 levels. The Healthy Start program, which reduces infant deaths, was zeroed out completely in the bill and congressional decision-makers also eliminated support for suicide prevention, rape prevention, teen pregnancy prevention, opioid overdose prevention, and tobacco prevention and control. Additional deeply troubling components of the House proposal include reducing resources for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) which funds state, territory, local, and tribal organizations to provide family assistance, child support, childcare, Head Start, child welfare, and other programs for children and families.

In the area of education: overall, resources for the Department of Education were chopped by $11 Billion—a level that is $14.5 Billion below what the administration requested for FY25. The proposed bill decimates K-12 education and eliminates 17 key programs. It proposes a 25% cut of $5 Billion to Title I Grants to local educational agencies, which if enacted, would result in tens of thousands of fewer teachers in classrooms in low-income schools. Further, it jettisons school-based mental health services at a time when suicide is the second-leading cause of death for U.S. children 0-14.

What’s Next:  On June 27, the Labor, HHS, and Education spending bill was approved by the subcommittee on a voice vote with no amendments. Key decision-makers include the subcommittee’s Chairman, Rep. Aderholt (R-AL).  In addition, the Chairman of the full Appropriations Committee, Rep Tom Cole (R-OK), plays a key role as he oversees the full committee action on the bill scheduled for July 10. We will seek to urge both Chairmen to rethink these devastating proposed cuts (and complete elimination of many programs) by asking our own Representatives to weigh in with them personally.

  1. Fill out the form below to target your Representative.
  2. Please contact your Representative using the form (or call their office directly) and ask that they speak personally or write to Labor HHS, Education Subcommittee Chairman Aderholt and Full Committee Chairman Cole. If your Representative is a Democrat, ask them to contact Ranking member Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), to oppose proposed cuts in FY25 to programs for children and thank her for her outstanding leadership to support kids and their families.
  3. Pull details from above to specifically ask that your Representative urge protection and expansion of health and education programs slated for cuts within the proposed FY25 Labor HHS, Education bill.
  4. Thank your Representative for weighing in with Chairs Aderholt and Cole in support of kids and ask them to let you know what happened.
  5. Don’t forget to share with the First Focus team what you hear back.