Press Release

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 202-866-0648
Email: michelek@firstfocus.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Statement: Congress Must Pass Budget Deal And Ensure Timely Resources for Children

Federal Budget

First Focus Campaign for Children applauds budget progress
Urges lawmakers to ensure timely resources for children

The budget caps and debt limit deal reached by Congressional leadership and the Administration this week eliminates the threat of economic disaster stemming from the U.S. defaulting on its debt obligations as well as deep programmatic cuts that would have been triggered under the Budget Control Act of 2011. We applaud this progress and urge the White House and lawmakers to continue working to make certain that vital federal resources are available in a timely manner to meet the growing needs of America’s children.

“We are very relieved that this deal avoids disastrous spending cuts,” said Bruce Lesley, president of First Focus Campaign for Children. “But the fact is that the share of federal spending on children has been declining for nearly a decade and continues to decline. Congress must prioritize children as it moves forward with funding decisions on FY 2020 appropriations bills.”

With the beginning of the new fiscal year just weeks away, the White House and Congress should keep the communications channels open to ensure timely enactment of the annual appropriations bills and limit stopgap funding measures.  Such measures fail to keep pace with inflation and create unpredictable funding levels for important programs serving children and families. It is vital that Congress provide robust funding for appropriations subcommittees with jurisdiction over a large number of children’s programs. This is especially pressing given the need for adequate funding for an accurate, comprehensive and fair decennial census — without which we risk missing children and short-changing their representation and program funding.

First Focus Campaign for Children applauds Congressional leadership and the Administration for reaching a deal that will avoid what would have been unrealistic and unworkable cuts to NDD spending. As work on these bills moves forward, we urge all parties involved to also consider revenue-raising measures that will improve our long-term fiscal outlook and support investment in children, who are our nation’s future.

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.