First Focus Campaign for Children identifies 120 lawmakers who prioritize children

In 2019, nearly one-in-six of our nation’s children lived in poverty. The number of kids without health insurance rose to more than 4 million, reversing two decades of progress. More than 12 million children stared down hunger each day. And the federal government worked to deprive millions more of food, housing, and other life-sustaining assistance.

First Focus Campaign for Children today released its 2019 Legislative Scorecard, which identifies 120 members of Congress who had the courage to buck this trend and put children first. These Champions and Defenders of children introduced bills to safeguard children’s programs, supported beneficial measures and voted against those that would harm children. Some even defied their party leadership to protect children’s interests.

“Kids don’t vote and they don’t have political action committees,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “That’s why it’s up to lawmakers to make children a priority and protect their best interests. We commend these 120 members of Congress for putting children first and hope their contribution will inspire their colleagues to do the same.”

FFCC’s 2019 Legislative Scorecard ranks policymakers according to votes and bill sponsorships taken during the first session of the 116th Congress that prioritize the well-being of our nation’s children. The 25-page report examines key pieces of legislation on children’s health insurance, child hunger, homelessness, child abuse and neglect, tax credits and other issues critical to advancing the needs of our kids and families. The report names 40 Senators and 80 Representatives, from both parties, as Champions or Defenders for children in the 116th Congress.

Some key takeaways from the 2019 Scorecard:

  • Women were two-and-a-half times more likely than men to be Champions or Defenders.
  • Percentage of delegations who are Champions or Defenders breaks along regional lines:
    • 43% of lawmakers from Western states are Champions or Defenders
    • 40% of lawmakers from the Northeast are Champions or Defenders
    • 21% of lawmakers from the Midwest are Champions or Defenders
    • 9% of lawmakers from the Southwest/Plains states are Champions or Defenders
    • 7% of lawmakers from the Southeast are Champions or Defenders. Florida leads the region with four. Other states in the region have only one.  

Please view and download the full report at