The Senate & House Budgets from a Children’s Perspective
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Washington — The bipartisan children’s advocacy organization First Focus today released a comparison of the federal fiscal year 2014 budget resolutions scheduled for floor consideration in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives this week. The analysis concludes that the Senate proposal protects federal investments in America’s children, while the House proposal would impede progress on problems facing children.
“The Senate budget protects critical investments in kids, while the House budget would make nearly every problem children face worse,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.
Key findings from the First Focus analysis include:
- Children’s health: The Senate budget protects the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and Medicaid, which provide health care for millions of children. The House budget turns Medicaid into a block grant, which would compromise care for children, and eliminates the Affordable Care Act’s protections for CHIP.
- Child nutrition: The Senate budget protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), explicitly recognizing these investments’ value for children. The House budget leaves “sequestration” budget cuts to WIC in place and turns SNAP into a block grant.
- Education and other non-defense discretionary investments: The Senate budget largely protects the “non-defense discretionary” component of the federal budget, which includes education, housing, child abuse and neglect prevention and response, child care, and other critical initiatives for children. The House budget extends sequestration cuts to such investments and expands their impact on children by more than $100 billion over 10 years.
- Anti-Poverty Tax Credits: The Senate budget makes permanent improvements to the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit, which with those improvements, lift more than five million children out of poverty every year. The House budget allows those improvements to expire in 2017.
“Yes, the federal government has serious budget problems, but kids didn’t cause them. While the House budget makes deep and dangerous cuts to investments in kids, the Senate plan recognizes that we can’t build a stronger tomorrow for children by denying them the things they need to succeed today,” said First Focus President Bruce Lesley.