In response to the reconciliation agreement unveiled by Sens. Schumer and Manchin — the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) —First Focus Campaign For Children President Bruce Lesley made following statement:

“We applaud the persistence of lawmakers in reaching an agreement that now includes climate change investments and a fair way to pay for them. Sadly, however, our children and grandchildren so far have lost their place in the Inflation Reduction Act, which does not yet include the considerable progress on child poverty, maternal and child health, paid family leave and other issues achieved by this country during the pandemic and proposed in other legislation. It also does nothing to address the child care crisis. It is our hope that as conversations proceed to finalize the package and legislative text, lawmakers will also include measures that directly, specifically, rightly, and wisely prioritize children, such as making the Children’s Health Insurance Program permanent, a step that already has strong bipartisan support, as well as traction with voters. Congress has just a short window of opportunity to show they truly care about our children by including in the IRA critical investments that we know improve their immediate and long-term health and well-being. When we trade on the well-being of our children, we all lose.”