As the new Congressmembers were sworn in and the new session began, former House majority leader Eric Cantor made the plea, “I hope the president and members from both parties will keep one number in mind: 8,053,000. That is an estimate of the number of new Americans expected to be born between now and the end of this Congress and President Obama’s second term two years from now.”

Cantor recognizes there’s a lot at stake for those 8,053,000 children in the policies and the priorities of the new Congress. That’s the right idea, but his priority for these kids is a growing economy, trade promotion authority, patent law reform, and expanding charter schools. As we wrote in our response on CNBC, what Cantor misses is that there are a sweeping range of issues before Congress that will more fundamentally impact the lives of these kids.

Data from the nonpartisan Annie E. Casey Foundation’s KIDS COUNT Data Center paints a clear picture of the future for these 8,053,000 children if Congress does not make children’s policies a real priority:

  • More than 1.7 million will live in poverty (tweet this)
  • More than 73,000 of those children will be abused or neglected (tweet this)
  • More than 560,000 will not have health coverage (tweet this)
  • More than 3.3 million will be the children of immigrants, many living in fear that the government will take their parents away (tweet this)
  • 4 million will not be enrolled in pre-kindergarten (tweet this)