Press Releases

Contact: Michele Kayal
Phone: 703-919-8778

Statement: First Focus on Children’s Response to President Trump’s FY 2021 Budget

Child Care
Children of Immigrants
Early Childhood
Federal Budget
Housing & Homelessness
Poverty & Family Economics
Tax Policy

The proposed budget released today by President Trump takes direct aim at the health and well-being of America’s children.

According to the FY 2021 President’s Budget Briefing Book, the Administration’s proposed budget would cut non-defense discretionary spending by $1.5 trillion, or 19 percent, over 10 years, breaking a bipartisan spending agreement for FY 2021 reached by Congress just a few months ago. More than 80 percent of children’s programs are fueled by this spending and would be hard hit by these cuts.

“The budget is a moral document,” said First Focus on Children President Bruce Lesley. “Although we fully expect both Democrats and Republicans in Congress to reject these cuts as they have in the past, we are dismayed that the president places so little value on our nation’s children.”

Congressional hearings just last week illuminated the Administration’s ongoing threats to children. In an attempt to side-step the will and intent of Congress by rolling back bipartisan legislation, several Administration proposals seek to: underestimate our 16 percent child poverty rate; gut fair housing opportunities for low-income children and families; and deny food assistance to more than 3 million people and free school meals to nearly 1 million children.

President Trump’s budget doubles-down on these priorities with massive cuts to the social safety net. The following 10-year cuts contained in the Administration’s budget represent a particular danger for our nation’s children:

  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly Food Stamps: $182 billion
  • Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF): $21 billion, which includes $6 billion in the TANF Contingency Fund
  • Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program: $920 billion

Last year, for the first time in history, the United States spent more servicing the national debt than we did on our children. The President’s FY2020 proposal sought to slash spending on children to only 6.45 percent of the federal budget and eliminated 44 separate children’s programs. President Trump’s FY 2021 budget also proposes minimizing spending on kids and eliminating dozens of programs.

In the coming days, our policy team at First Focus on Children will continue analyzing President Trump’s proposed budget to determine the full impact it would deliver to our youngest Americans.