The First Focus Campaign for Children and members of the Children’s Budget Coalition today sent a letter to Congressional Leadership urging them to pass the FY 2022 annual spending bills in the coming weeks, increase resources for the many programs successfully supporting, and protecting children, and avoid a long-term continuing resolution (CR).

Excerpt from the letter:

The share of federal spending on children plunged from 10.2% in FY2016 to an all-time low of 7.64% in 2020, according to First Focus’ Children’s Budget 2021. In the wake of COVID-19, Congress responded with much-needed investments in early childhood, child care, education, child nutrition, health care, housing, income support, and more, and reversed that downward spending trend – the share dedicated to children rising from a record low of 7.64% in 2020 to 11.15% in 2021 – an unprecedented increase.

In particular, the Children’s Budget 2021 shows that the increase in the share of federal spending on children stems from an 81% increase in the discretionary share of spending on children. This increase represents a temporary solution to the persistent and widespread challenges children and families face, and we urge Congress to follow through on the successful investments and policy changes in the ARP to prioritize children in FY 2022 spending decisions. Failure to reach agreement on the FY 2022 appropriations bills, coupled with the expiration of ARP investments, could induce economic instability and material hardship for tens of millions of households with children a t a time when there remains considerable uncertainty about the public health crisis and our economic recovery.

Read the full letter here.