Congress’ FY 18 Budget Resolution Neglects Children
Ari Goldberg (Former Staff)Federal Budget
WASHINGTON—The Children’s Budget Coalition, convened by the First Focus Campaign for Children, is dismayed that Congress passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget resolution today that does little to protect or increase investments in the vital programs that serve American children and families. As outlined in the 2016 Children’s Budget Book, children continue to receive a decreasing share of the federal budget.
First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley said:
“This divestment in kids has a real and devastating impact on crucial resources for housing, education, nutrition, general welfare, and health, to name just a few.
Congress cannot continue to make children and families its last priority in federal budget decisions.
If they’re serious about the health and well-being of our kids—and America’s future—they will ensure that non-defense discretionary (NDD) funding has parity with defense discretionary spending. And they will support mandatory programs that help lift kids and families out of poverty. Today’s FY 18 budget resolution does neither.”
Despite the great need for relief from the 2011 Budget Control Act’s caps on NDD spending, the FY 18 Budget Resolution adheres to those caps—and projects massive cuts in those funds over the next ten years. At the same time, it allows for legislation that would increase defense discretionary spending above its FY 18 cap, abandoning the core sequestration principle of parity between NDD and defense discretionary spending.
Already, the BCA has resulted in an alarming 13 percent decrease in inflation-adjusted NDD spending since 2010. Should Congress fail to reach a budget agreement to lift the FY 18 NDD budget cap, spending will continue to drop, with devastating consequences to over 130 discretionary programs that directly support children and families.
Although it was encouraging to see that the final FY 18 Budget Resolution abandoned the House’s damaging request for $200 billion in cuts to mandatory spending, its announced savings of $5 trillion over 10 years means that mandatory programs could be on the chopping block in the future. Meanwhile, plans to use reconciliation to generate tax cuts that add up to $1.5 trillion to the deficit over ten years could risk future spending on mandatory programs that support low income children.
SEE ALSO: The Children’s Budget Coalition