Press Release

Contact: Madeline Daniels
Phone: (202) 657-0664

House amendment would fund landmark child poverty study

Federal Budget
Poverty & Family Economics

Washington – The First Focus Campaign for Children applauded today Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Barbara Lee (D-CA) for offering an amendment to a House funding bill that would measure the impact of and help reduce child poverty in the United States. The amendment passed today in a voice vote of the appropriations committee.

The amendment would direct the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to enter into an agreement with the National Academy of Sciences to provide an evidence-based, non-partisan analysis of the macroeconomic, health, and crime/social costs of child poverty. It would also provide recommendations to reduce the number of children living in poverty in the United States by half in ten years. The amendment is part of the federal fiscal year 2016 appropriations bill for the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and related agencies.

In response to the vote, Congresswoman Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) made the following statement:

“I am elated that the Appropriations Committee passed my amendment to fund this important, evidence-based study.  The findings of this study will help our country develop effective policies and programs to fight the scourge of child poverty. Even in 21st century America, millions of children continue to experience horrible, nightmarish poverty. Not only is child poverty immoral, but it weakens our country, draining the talent and productivity of our next generation. America is the richest country on the planet: if we can’t keep our nation’s children from going hungry, how can we presume to serve as a moral beacon for the rest of the world? That is why I offered this amendment, and that is why I will continue to fight to ensure the study is fully implemented.”

Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) made the following statement:

“Today in America, there are nearly 15 million child living in poverty. In the richest and most powerful nation in the world, one poor and hungry child is unacceptable; nearly 15 million is a travesty. Thanks to this study, Congress will be able to craft more effective strategies to reduce and eventually eliminate child poverty in America.”

First Focus Campaign for Children President Bruce Lesley made the following statement:

“A parent will sacrifice and put in hard work to give her child a better life. Shouldn’t we expect the same from Congress on behalf of the one-in-five children living in poverty right now? Any policymaker who is serious about reducing child poverty needs to support the amendment the congresswomen offered. It’s a smart, practical first step toward ending poverty for our children and families.”


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