More than 55 Groups Urge Congress to Make Children the Priority in 2018 Budget
Ari Goldberg (Former Staff)Federal Budget
WASHINGTON–The Children’s Budget Coalition, which includes more than 55 organizations committed to ensuring federal investment in critical programs that help American children–sent letters (House / Senate) today to the chairmen and ranking members of the Senate and House Appropriations Committee and the relevant subcommittee urging them to do four things in Fiscal Year 2018 to protect and improve the lives of children. They include:
- Reversing the trend of spending less on programs that help kids: As the First Focus 2016 Children’s Budget Book found, children’s programs accounted for a mere 2.1 percent of all new federal spending over the previous five years.
- Lifting the budget caps for non-defense discretionary (NDD) spending: The president’s FY 18 Budget Blueprint proposes a $54 billion cut to NDD, which could lead to as much as $20 billion in cuts to more than 100 essential programs that support children. Such cuts would have real consequences for real people – especially teachers, young children in low-income families, and students with special needs.
- Maintaining parity between non-defense and defense discretionary spending; and
- Increasing 302b allocations in three appropriations bills (Labor-HHS, T-HUD, and CJS). These spending bills include about 200 programs critical to assisting kids and providing them with resources necessary to live long and productive lives.
Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus Campaign for Children, said:
“We need to arrest the alarming trend of decreased federal spending on children’s programs. More than ever, now is the time to invest more in America’s kids, not less, to ensure the next generation grows up to lead healthy and productive lives.
The place to start is next year’s budget. If the administration and lawmakers are serious about building America’s future, they will make kids a top priority in the FY 18 budgetary process.”
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.