120 lawmakers propelled record investment in children, new scorecard says
Scorecard for 117th ranks members’ commitment to children
One-hundred-and-twenty members of Congress helped propel record investment in children this year, according to a new analysis by First Focus Campaign for Children, delivering historic gains for their health and well-being.
Lawmakers in the 117th Congress successfully pushed the share of federal spending on children to an historic 11.98% of the U.S. budget in FY 2022, producing remarkable declines in child poverty, hunger, and the rate of children without health insurance.
“The members of Congress in our scorecard put children at the center of their decisions, achieving an unprecedented level of investment in their health and well-being,” said First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley. “By putting children first, these lawmakers prioritized not what this nation has done in the past, but what we now know is possible. We urge these members of Congress to continue acting in the best interest of children, and we encourage their colleagues to do the same.”
First Focus Campaign for Children identifies 40 Senators and 80 members of the House of Representatives from both parties as “Champions” or “Defenders” of children in its 2022 Legislative Scorecard, released today. Champions and Defenders earned their title by repeatedly using their legislative power to prioritize the well-being of children at home and abroad — sometimes against the instruction of their party leadership. Our report also identifies the eight worst-performing lawmakers, individuals whose votes and decisions actively harm children.
FFCC’s 2022 Legislative Scorecard ranks policymakers according to votes and bill sponsorships taken during the 117th Congress that prioritize the well-being of our nation’s children. The new report examines key pieces of legislation on children’s mental and physical health, child hunger, homelessness, and poverty, treatment of immigrant children, environmental dangers to children, global child malnutrition and education issues, and other issues critical to advancing the needs of our children and the families who care for them.
Some key takeaways from the 2022 Scorecard:
- Women were twice as likely as men to be Champions or Defenders.
- Lawmakers from the Northeast are most likely to be Champions or Defenders.
- Lawmakers from the Southwest are least likely to be Champions or Defenders.
- Percentage of delegations who are Champions or Defenders breaks along regional lines:
- 42% of lawmakers from the Northeast are Champions or Defenders
- 34% of lawmakers from Western states are Champions or Defenders
- 18% of lawmakers from the Midwest are Champions or Defenders
- 11% of lawmakers from the Southeast are Champions or Defenders.
- Just 10% of lawmakers from the Southwest and Plains states are Champions or Defenders
For a full look at the regional breakdown — including regional leaders and the lowest-scoring members — visit the First Focus Campaign for Children blog.