In the midst of the Senate budget vote-a-rama that occurred before the spring recess, we at the First Focus Campaign for Children were intently listening to a conversation that occurred on the Senate floor between senior Senators about the Children’s Budget Act (CBA). The CBA would require the President’s budget submission to Congress to include a deliberate and full accounting of all the money the Federal Government spends on and for children.

An exchange between Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), who is the author of the CBA, and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), the Chair of the Senate Budget Committee, shows that there is energy and support for moving this legislation forward. Senator Menendez explained that the Children’s Budget would “provide the Budget Committees and Appropriations Committees with a comprehensive look at how funding is affecting the youngest Americans.”

Senator Murray pledged her backing saying “I agree with [Senator Menendez] that it is important that we have a full accounting of how the Federal Government serves children throughout our Nation… I want to assure my friend that I will work closely with him to find a path forward on the children’s budget and achieve our shared goal of ensuring that the government is doing its best to efficiently and effectively serve our Nation’s children.”

You can read their full conversation in the day’s Congressional Record.

This legislation is a no cost addition that would provide invaluable information on whether we are making adequate investments to meet the needs of our children. With nearly one in every four children living in poverty, rates not seen in decades, our nation’s future depends on investing appropriately in our children.

As three-time Champions for Children, we applaud Senator Menendez for pushing this important issue and greatly appreciate Senator Murray’s support. Look for more information on the reintroduction of the Children’s Budget Act in the 113th Congress shortly.