Thrive by Five Washington

By Paul Nyhan

The congressional battles over the federal budget are getting tougher these days, as interest groups fight for scarce federal dollars. Within that fight, a new report suggests the debate over how to fund children’s programs is fundamentally flawed, with policymakers failing to back up their public support and advocates adopting weak strategies.

The overall goal of the First Focus report is to review the state of federal funding for children’s programs. As importantly, it explains problems in how these decisions are made. For example, it suggests that advocates have failed to communicate effectively with a public largely supportive of their agenda. It argues those same groups must build stronger and more effective networks to lobby for funding. And advocates for senior citizens and the disabled are too often pitted against children’s groups in public debates.

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