Madeline Daniels
(202) 999-4853 (office)

Washington – Sequestration would cut the majority of investments for children by a deep 8.2 percent, according to a report released today by the White Houses’ Office of Management and Budget (OMB) today. Children’s share of these cuts would amount to $6.4 billion in fiscal year 2013 alone, according to a recent analysis by First Focus.

“It’s never a good time to cut investments to our children and families, least of all when more than one in five U.S. kids live in poverty, said First Focus president Bruce Lesley. “We can’t forget our children are struggling in this recovering economy too, and sequestration would only make this country a worse place to be a kid.”

Scheduled to take effect on January 2, 2013, the budget restrictions include deep, across-the-board cuts to defense and nondefense programs alike. Cuts explicit to children include:

  • Education: $3.2 billion
  • Early childhood: $915 million
  • Housing: $904 million
  • Nutrition: $544 million
  • Child health: $366 million
  • Child welfare: $179 million
  • Military education: $188 million
  • Safety: $55 million

Sequestration would also lower spending caps for the next nine years, with specific cuts to be determined annually by Congressional appropriators.

“Investments in America’s children that ensure a bright future are simply not the cause of our fiscal imbalance,” said Lesley. “Children represent less than 8 percent of federal investments– a shockingly small commitment to nearly a quarter of the population– and sequestration drops this share further.”

In July, First Focus joined a coalition of nearly 3,000 national, state, and local organizations from all fifty states representing a wide range of investments in nondefense discretionary spending, which includes investments in kids, in sending a letter to Congress urging lawmakers to avert sequestration through a bipartisan and balanced approach to deficit reduction.

“Our kids are counting on Congressional leaders to avert sequestration because a budget built on the backs of children is a move in the wrong direction,” said Lesley. “U.S. families should expect better from lawmakers and demand that Congress protect investments in children by abandoning sequestration for balanced deficit reduction.”

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