First Focus: Budget Deal Keeps Vital Children’s Programs Funded
Ari Goldberg (Former Staff)
WASHINGTON—First Focus, a nonpartisan advocacy group working to make children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions, welcomed parts of the FY 2017 budget deal announced today.
Regarding our top priority–ensuring robust funding for children’s programs–the results of the budget deal are mixed. Budgets for some of the biggest programs remain flat, including the Special Supplemental Nutrition for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), Preschool Development Grants, and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG).
On the other hand, there are modest increases to important programs such as Head Start and Childhood Care and Development Block Grants. There are also reauthorizations of critical child welfare programs including the Promoting Safe and Stable Families Program (Title IV-B) and the Court Improvement Program.
The legislation also accomplishes three significant First Focus objectives: 1) Should it be enacted by May 5th, it completes all eleven outstanding appropriations bills before the expiration of the Continuing Resolution; 2) It maintains budget caps for non-defense discretionary spending established in Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015; and 3) The bill does not include the $18 billion spending cut to non-defense discretionary programs proposed in President Trumps FY ‘17 supplemental request.
Bruce Lesley, President of the First Focus, said:
“Overall, the budget deal protects some of the most crucial programs American children and families rely on for their basic needs. As always, the devil will be in the details as there are more than 200 federal programs impacting kids and families.
We applaud all those lawmakers on both sides of the aisle who fight to ensure that no harm is done to the millions of American children who deserve to grow up and reach their full potential.”
First Focus is a bipartisan advocacy organization dedicated to making children and families a priority in federal policy and budget decisions. For more information, visit www.firstfocus.org.