First Focus responded to the Executive Order, Reducing Poverty in America by Promoting Opportunity and Economic Mobility, signed yesterday by President Trump, which would weaken public assistance programs by imposing cuts, employment documentation requirements, irrational time limits, and other unnecessary government bureaucratic barriers.

“Despite the claim of promoting family economic security, the harmful changes resulting from this order will have the opposite effect and weaken the effectiveness of these programs to support healthy child development and reduce child poverty,” said Bruce Lesley, President of First Focus. “We know that in most low-income households with children, there is at least one family member who is working. Yet due to low wages, skyrocketing rents, and the high cost of everyday goods, parents still struggle to make ends meet and turn to key assistance programs to supplement resources for their families. Actions to limit household access to healthcare and effective anti-poverty programs will result in a future generation of children whose physical, mental health, nutritional, and educational outcomes are weakened.” 

First Focus has a strong history of speaking out against harmful changes to critical assistance programs.  We continue to provide information as to how adding work requirements to Medicaid is bad for kids, and we recently submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Agriculture regarding how proposed changes to time limit rules for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, though claiming to target childless adults, will unduly harm children.

For additional information:

Why is Medicaid So Critical? Let’s Get Personal

The Welfare Reform and Upward Mobility Act is the Wrong Direction to Reduce Child Poverty