Senate Budget Protects Investments in Children
March 14, 2013
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Washington — The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus applauded the Senate Budget Committee’s proposed federal fiscal year 2014 budget resolution, which moves the federal government’s budget closer to balance while protecting critical investments in children.
The budget resolution protects critical children’s initiatives over the ten year budget window and reverses budget “sequestration” cuts already being implemented under the 2011 deficit reduction law:
- Children’s health: Protects Medicaid, explicitly recognizing that half of the Americans who get health care through Medicaid are children, and the Children’s Health Insurance Program
- Child nutrition: Protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which allocates 47 percent of funds to child nutrition, and reverses $350 million in “sequestration” cuts to the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) that would take effect this year.
- Education and other non-defense discretionary investments: Eliminates “sequestration” cuts to the “non-defense discretionary” budget, including cuts already being implemented. The committee’s proposal lowers discretionary spending caps by $150 billion. Applying this reduction proportionally, this would result in a $17 billion reduction in funding for children’s initiatives. However, the budget proposal emphasizes the importance of early education, child care, and school modernization, suggesting an intent to protect critical investments in children.
- Anti-Poverty Tax Credits: Makes permanent improvements to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit originally adopted as part of the 2009 economic stimulus law. With those improvements, these credits lift more than five million children out of poverty every year.
“Yes, the federal government has serious budget problems, but kids didn’t cause them, and this proposal shows we can solve them without making it harder for kids to build successful lives. The committee’s plan delivers real fiscal progress while investing in America’s children,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.