In State of the Union, President must urge Congress to prioritize kids in spending decisions

First Focus on Children, a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families the priority in federal policy and budget decisions, urges President Joe Biden to use his upcoming State of the Union address to commit to improving the well-being of children in the United States and around the world.

In a recent letter to the President, First Focus on Children highlighted the United States’ lagging position compared to peer nations in providing support for children and families. The organization emphasized the importance of investing in child nutrition, economic mobility, child health care, paid family leave, and other child-focused services as a means to secure the nation’s future competitiveness.

“As Dr. Biden aptly puts it, ‘Any nation that out-educates us, will out-compete us,’” First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley wrote. “We must extend this idea to all facets of child welfare. A strong, immediate pro-child agenda is not only good for our children but is also an investment in the stability and prosperity of our families, communities, and country.”

First Focus on Children believes that a child-centered policy approach can provide immediate relief and stability for American families, allowing children to look beyond their immediate circumstances and aspire to meet their full potential.

By placing children at the center of the State of the Union address, the President can signal his priorities to Congress and urge them to make children their focus over the next few weeks as they consider spending bills.

“Children offer an inherently unifying issue,” Lesley wrote. “Polling consistently shows that Americans — regardless of party, gender, race, or other demographics — want a positive children’s agenda. Unfortunately, while many politicians readily tout children to evoke emotions in speeches or to fan the flames of hysteria around controversial policies, few lawmakers actually make good-faith efforts on behalf of children.”