The Kid Angle: Congress must consider president’s FY25 budget request
Bizarre bedfellows have produced a wave of recent successes in Congress, such as securing funding for allies abroad.
Now we must persuade Congress to use the same strategy to support our nation’s children.
President Biden’s FY2025 budget request offers lawmakers a roadmap to securing the health and well-being of all children. The $7.3 trillion dollar budget request would put $1.7 trillion toward discretionary spending, which funds the greatest share of children’s programs. Unfortunately, this number represents relatively flat funding compared to FY2024, at least partly because of budget caps set by Congress. And because the amounts are not adjusted for inflation, these flat-funded children’s programs will experience a real-time decrease.
These Congressionally-mandated budget constraints make passing the expanded Child Tax Credit even more important. President Biden’s FY25 budget would support this investment in our children with major tax reforms that would require large corporations, billionaires, and the wealthiest individuals to pay their fair share and would increase funding to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) so it can better collect those taxes. In addition to lifting roughly 500,000 children out of poverty, analysis shows the enhanced Child Tax Credit would improve the lives of 16 million children, an impact First Focus on Children vigorously supports.
Congress must take a serious look at the President’s budget request. Among its many goals, the proposal would:
Significantly reduce child poverty
Provide affordable child care
Deliver $5 billion for free, universal preschool
Improve health care coverage, including funding to expand access to coverage under the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP)
Support robust investments in nutrition, including continuing a 10-year expansion of the Community Eligibility Provision (CEP), which provides free school meals to all students in high-poverty schools
Use $9 billion to establish a housing voucher program for the 20,000 youth who age out of the foster care system every year
Establish a national paid family and medical leave program administered by the Social Security Administration
Improve access to and funding for behavioral health care for children
Invest more in gun violence prevention and transformation of the juvenile justice system

To track the proposed investments in key programs supporting children, please see First Focus on Children’s new Analysis: Children’s Programs in the President’s FY25 Budget.