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Children Lose With House 2015 Budget
Ed Walz (Former Staff)
Washington – The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus expressed concern that the House Budget Committee’s proposed federal fiscal year 2015 budget resolution puts billions in federal funding for critical children’s initiatives at risk. A review of materials released by the committee shows that the proposal puts children’s health, child nutrition, education, child abuse and neglect prevention and response, and other priority children’s initiatives on the chopping block.
The draft budget resolution makes billions in cuts to a wide range of children’s initiatives over ten years:
- Children’s health: Repeals the bipartisan Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and shifts children to Medicaid, while cutting $723 billion from Medicaid – Medicaid allocates 20 percent of funds to children’s health, resulting in a $145 billion cut to children’s health through Medicaid and an additional $21 billion through CHIP
- Child nutrition: $125 billion in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which allocates 47 percent of funds to child nutrition, resulting in a $59 billion cut to child nutrition
- Education and other non-defense discretionary investments: At least $804 billion in cuts to the “non-defense discretionary” budget. Applying the cuts proportionately across the non-defense discretionary budget would result in $123.4 billion in cuts to a wide range of children’s initiatives, including an estimated:
- $22.4 billion in cuts to “Title I” assistance for local schools
- $18 billion in cuts to special education assistance for local schools
- $146 million (of a $94 million annual budget) in cuts to child abuse and neglect prevention and response funding for states
- $3.7 billion in cuts to child care affordability assistance for states
- $10.5 billion in cuts to nutrition assistance for expectant mothers and babies
“This budget makes nearly every problem facing America’s children worse. Yes, the federal government has budget problems, but kids didn’t cause them, and making it harder for children to succeed is the wrong way to solve them,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.