The Kid Angle: SOTU must commit to kids

The nation’s children go into tonight’s State of the Union address with some promising news.

First: The House last night passed the six-bill appropriations package that provides full funding for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The package also keeps the recently-raised fruit and vegetable allowance of $26 per child per month. It’s too bad that we have to get excited about maintaining the status quo, but at least the legislation did not include the SNAP Choice pilot, which sought to fund WIC by reducing SNAP benefits.

Reports also suggest that President Biden will call on Congress to offer continuous medical coverage to children until age six, a measure that First Focus on Children and other advocates have long pushed for. (I’m told it’s now okay to end a sentence with a preposition so I’m going for it…)

The White House also previewed a call for restoration of the Child Tax Credit improvements that lifted three million children out of poverty. It’s a big swing, especially since the Senate minority appears to be considering ditching the bipartisan tax package that sailed through the House on a 357-70 vote in January, giving big gains to poor families with more than one child.

First Focus on Children urged President Biden in a recent letter to use his State of the Union address to commit to kids by outlining a robust children’s agenda. See the details here.

Follow First Focus on Children during the SOTU on X at @First_Focus and use the hashtag #InvestInKids.